Arizona Senate skips vote on controversial app store bill

Vote on new rules for app stores was scheduled but didn't occur -- without explanation.

A vote on an Arizona bill to change app store rules didn't happen.
Angela Lang/CNET

The Arizona state Senate was scheduled to vote on a controversial bill that would have imposed new rules on how apps work on iPhones and Android-powered devices. But the vote on Arizona HB2005 never occurred and no explanation for the omission was offered, The Verge reported Wednesday.

The state bill, if passed and signed into law, would require app store operators like Apple and Google to loosen their rules around payment processing, an increasingly contentious topic between the tech giants and the large developers that make popular apps on their platforms. 

The proposed rules, advanced by the state's House of Representatives earlier this month, would have allowed Arizona-based companies tallying more than 1 million downloads per year to choose alternative payment systems when users sign up for a subscription or buy a digital item like a new look for their character or more tries at a puzzle. Apple and Google currently require developers to use their payment processing services, which charge up to 30% commissions.

One fierce Apple critic accused the iPhone maker of enlisting a political insider to derail the bill's vote.

"The big show turned out to be a no show. The bill was killed in mid-air while on the agenda with a backroom deal. Apple has hired the governor's former chief of staff, and word is that he brokered a deal to prevent this from even being heard," David Heinemeier Hansson, a developer who submitted testimony in support of HB2005, tweeted this afternoon.

Neither Apple nor Google immediately responded to requests fro comment.

CNET's Ian Sherr contributed to this report.