Proposed law could protect Illinois smartphone app makers from big fees

Proposed law could protect Illinois smartphone app makers from big fees
Smart phone home screen with weather icon on focus. Installed mobile applications listed on the screen. Photo credit denkcreative/ Getty Images

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) – Illinois lawmakers are looking to help local app developers keep more of their revenue – and bring more tax dollars to the state – by going around the app stores run by Big Tech. New legislation was filed on Tuesday in Springfield.

The Freedom to Subscribe Directly Act aims to let app makers sell outside Google Play or the App Store – letting them skip the up to 30% fee paid to the California-based tech giants.

Pat Garofalo, director of state and local policy at the American Economic Liberties Project, said the current situation bans developers from even talking directly to their customers, leading to various problems.

“Consumers are paying higher prices but they’re also prevented from spending their dollars on the local businesses they support. They’re forced to give that money over to the Big Tech monopolies,” Garofalo told WBBM Newsradio.

Local newspapers were also among those businesses impacted. State Sen. Steve Stadelman of Rockford said he believes the bill would help sustain them amid shrinking revenue.

“Local news operations have already lost a lot of advertising revenue to the tech companies. I think this is one way to make that playing field a bit more fair,” Stadelman told WBBM Newsradio.

The U.S. Senate is also debating opening up app markets.