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Apple accused of using “aggressive” tactics to avoid regulation

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According to documents analyzed by the Tech Transparency Project (TTP), Apple used “aggressive” lobbying tactics to sway opinion in Georgia, North Dakota, Arizona and other states that had regulations against existing App Store policies.

The results of an investigation released on Tuesday detail Apple’s lobbying efforts in the United States to thwart regulations for the App Store.

Stuart Goodman, a top Apple lobbyist, was reported to have partnered with conservative groups to pressure Republicans.

To the chairman of the Arizona House Commerce Committee, Goodman dispatched letters from the president of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), as well as from the president of Americans for Tax Reform warning that the proposal could be interpreted as overreaching.

Despite the document being largely a recap of earlier stories on the subject, with much of it based on previous investigations, there are a few new disclosures that have not been reported elsewhere. There is also information about emails from legislators and law firms.

Tyler Stephens, an Apple lobbyist for Republican firm Fierce Government Relations, contacted Georgia’s attorney general, Christopher Carr, about pending legislation that requires Apple to allow third-party app stores on iOS.

Apple lobbyists threatened to pull out of investments in a “potentially multibillion-dollar partnership with Kia to build autonomous vehicles” in Georgia, TTP reported in August.

The proposals failed to proceed despite concerted lobbying and “surprisingly solicitous” efforts by the AG’s office, according to the TTP.

In a lawsuit filed in response to an App Store fee and commission dispute, Apple reached a resolution with a group of developers last month. The agreement would allow app developers to reach out to clients about alternative payment options if approved and create a $100 million fund for small developers.

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