North Dakota rejects bill that would've threatened Apple’s walled garden

Apple’s walled garden is still safe — for now.

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North Dakota’s state senate has rejected the “anti-App Store bill” that would have upended the rules of the App Store and threatened one of the company’s most important businesses. Senate Bill 2333, which would have required Apple to allow third-party app stores and enabled developers to bypass the company’s “App Store tax,” was defeated with a 36 - 11 vote in the senate, CNBC reports.

An Apple executive said the law "threatens to destroy iPhone as you know it." The bill also would have affected Google’s app store policies, though the company already allows users to download apps from alternative stores.

The vote comes as Apple has faced multiple challenges over its App Store policies, which requires developers to play by the company’s rules. This includes a sometimes opaque approval process and a requirement that app makers hand over 30 percent of subscription and in-app payment revenue to Apple. Fortnite maker Epic Games, which is in the midst of a legal battle with Apple, had supported the legislation.

Though the North Dakota bill failed, it’s hardly the end of Apple’s battle to preserve its “walled garden.” Other states, including Arizona, could consider similar legislation. Facebook is reportedly preparing its own antitrust lawsuit against the iPhone maker over its App Store rules. And regulators in the European Union have also opened an investigation into the company.

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