If we want to grow Arizona’s economy, we need to talk about video games. No, that’s not a joke. Maybe you’ve never heard of Candy Crush or Fortnite, or think they’re irrelevant to our economy, but they can play a critical role in growing our tech industry.
Here’s why: Arizona is trying to build a strong economy for our future. We’re working to cut red tape and encourage entrepreneurs to build their business here. We’re especially excited about the tech sector, which has the potential to bring jobs and opportunity to Arizona. Entrepreneurs are creating apps and software, and we think they should do that right here.
But while many of us in elected office are trying our best to support small businesses, Big Tech companies are using their power to fight us. Right now, Candy Crush and Fortnite are at their mercy, and so are Arizonans who play those games.
HB2005 will change that.
Apple and Google have a monopoly on how you download apps to your phone. Because of that, for any app that offers digital services like games or music, you have to pay through Apple or Google’s monopolistic payment processing system. What most people don’t know is that Apple and Google take a 30% cut because of their “app tax.”
You have to use their system and their payment processor, and then they tax you for it. Small app developers have to absorb the cost and struggle to survive or pass the tax onto their consumers.
Right now, there’s nothing you can do to avoid it. Traditionally, if a retailer charged too much for a video game, you could drive across town and buy it from their rival. But on your phone, you can’t shop around for a better price because there’s only one store!
Of course, this doesn’t just apply to games. Want music on your phone? There’s an app tax for that. Need software to help manage your business? There’s an app tax for that. Dating or fitness? There’s an app tax for that, too.
The status quo is failing Arizonans, forcing us to pay inflated prices. It’s failing entrepreneurs, who are being forced to jump through hoops simply to get products to their customers. In fact, the only folks who seem to benefit from this setup are the monopolies – Apple and Google.
But we’re ready to change that – and Arizona is leading the charge. While D.C. sits on its hands, we are taking action now to challenge Big Tech’s monopoly and make Arizona a better place for every app user and app developer. We are fighting for HB2005, a bill to lower prices for consumers and free small businesses from Big Tech’s “app tax.” The legislation would allow web developers to accept payments for their apps without going through Apple or Google’s app stores, bypassing the app tax and reducing the cost for consumers without compromising security or safety.
This is a bipartisan issue. We know that taking on the app tax to bring businesses and jobs to Arizona is something we can all get behind, all while loosening the stranglehold Big Tech has over our daily lives – and pocketbooks!
Our bill is a commonsense approach that will help small business and bring new revenue to the state. It’s a simple way to open up our state’s economy, bring in new jobs, and attract top talent from across the nation.
Waiting for Washington never got us anywhere before – it’s time to pass HB2005 to bring tech businesses to Arizona and remove the payment monopoly to reduce the 30% “app tax.”
Reps. Regina Cobb and Leo Biasiucci represent Legislative District 5.