Tech

Federal Trade Commission Strengthens Enforcement and Restores Right to Repair

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has announced that it has unanimously voted to crack down on illegal repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and government agencies from repairing their products.

The FTC has adopted a policy statement aimed at manufacturer practices, saying that “it makes it very difficult for buyers to repair products or other service providers to repair.”

The Commission voted 5-0 at a public committee meeting on Wednesday to approve the policy statement.

In a policy statement [PDF]The Commission stated that it would cover repair restrictions that violate the antitrust laws enforced by the FTC or the prohibition of unfair or deceptive acts or practices of the FTC Act.

“Illegal repair restrictions have not been a priority for the Commission’s enforcement for years, but the Commission has decided to spend more enforcement resources to combat these practices,” he said.

“Therefore, the Commission now prioritizes the investigation of illegal repair restrictions under relevant legislation such as: Magnuson-Moss Guarantee Act And section 5 Federal Trade Commission Act.. ”

The Commission also urged the public to file complaints of violations. Magnuson-Moss Guarantee ActIn particular, unless the FTC issues an exemption, it prohibits linking a consumer’s product warranty to the use of a particular service provider or product.

The Commission also added that it would monitor private legal action to determine if there were any patterns of unfair or deceptive behavior or practices by the manufacturer.

“This kind of restriction significantly raises consumer costs, curbs innovation, blocks business opportunities for independent repair shops, produces unwanted e-waste, delays timely repairs, and provides resilience. It could be detrimental, “FTC Chairman Lina Khan said at the meeting.

“FTC has a variety of tools that can be used to eradicate illegal repair restrictions. Today’s policy statement promises to take this issue forward with new momentum.”

The move takes place a week after US President Joe Biden signs an executive order aimed at fostering competition across many sectors, including online platforms and consumer devices. The order also called for tightening regulations on independent technical repair shops.

Under Executive Order, the FTC is also encouraged to “issue rules on anti-competitive restrictions on the use of independent repair shops or the implementation of DIY repairs of their devices and equipment.”

The right to repair is a global move. Recently, new rules have been introduced that allow certain appliances sold throughout Europe to be repaired for up to 10 years. These included all new washing machines, hair dryers, refrigerators and displays, including TVs.

Repair rights are currently under investigation in Australia.

Earlier this week, iFixit co-founder and CEO Kyle Wiens said companies such as Apple, Samsung, and Microsoft weren’t able to manipulate product and supply chain designs to give consumers and third-party repairers access to the tools they needed. I clarified how to do it. Parts for repairing products such as smartphones and laptops.

“I’ve seen manufacturers limit their ability to buy parts. There is a German battery maker called Varta that sells batteries to various companies. Samsung happens to use these batteries in their Galaxy earphones. But … but when I say I can go to Varta and buy the part as a repair part, it says “No, I can’t sell it under a contract with Samsung”. This is becoming more and more common, “he said with some concrete examples.

“Apple is famous for doing this with computer chips. The MacBook Pro has a specific charging chip … there is a standard version of the parts, then the Apple version of the parts is slightly tweaked, but tweaked. Increasingly, it’s enough to work on this computer, and the company is again under contractual requirements with Apple. ”

Details of the right to repair the movement

Federal Trade Commission Strengthens Enforcement and Restores Right to Repair

Source link Federal Trade Commission Strengthens Enforcement and Restores Right to Repair

Back to top button