A new Illinois bill called the Freedom to Subscribe Directly App wants to put an end to Apple and Google’s requirement that developers must use platforms’ own in-app payment methods.
The new bill was filed Tuesday and states:
Creates the Freedom to Subscribe Directly Act. Provides that a provider of a digital application distribution platform for which cumulative downloads of software applications from the digital application distribution platform to Illinois users exceed 1,000,000 downloads in the previous or current calendar year may not: (i) require a software application developer that is domiciled in the State to use a particular in-application payment system as the exclusive mode of accepting payments from a user for software application downloads or digital purchases; (ii) require use of a particular in-application payment system for accepting payments from Illinois users to download a software application or purchase a digital or physical copy; or (iii) retaliate against a developer that is domiciled in the State or an Illinois user for using an in-application payment system or digital application distribution platform that is not owned by, operated by, or affiliated with the provider. Exempts special-purpose digital application distribution platforms from the Act. Provides that the Attorney General may receive complaints and investigate violations of the Act. Provides that any person aggrieved by a violation of the Act may commence a civil action. Defines terms.
The bill not only seeks to prevent requirements such as those used by Apple that state all developers must use in-app payments if they want to, but it also wants to put an end to any perceived retaliation. Staunch App Store opponent David Heinemeier-Hansson, founder and CTO of Basecamp told WGEM Apple demanded we sell our new service through their payment processor, so they could take their 30% cut, or we’d be thrown out of the app store. Basecamp might have among the few companies willing to speak up but we are far from the only ones dealing with these oppressive regimes.”
A similar bill, also backed by the Basecamp chief, fizzled out early in 2021 in Arizona without explanation. Apple is facing strong legal pressure around the world to undo some of the fundamental aspects of its business model with regard to the iPhone and its iOS App Store. Apple warned that a new Senate antitrust bill being proposed will expose iPhone users to major security and privacy issues.