FTC formally adopts right to repair platform2021-07-21 19:06 by Daniela
Tags: FTC, Apple
The FTC has voted to ramp up enforcement of illegal repair restrictions that have prevented consumers from fixing their electronics without the vendor's help. The commission unanimously voted to adopt the new policy, which also outlines how it'll step up enforcement. The FTC is first calling on the public to submit complaints about onerous repair restrictions that may violate federal warranty laws. If misconduct is found, the FTC will consider filing a lawsuit against the company that's restricting access.
One of the major ways that manufacturers like Apple prevent independent repair of devices is by restricting access to the parts necessary to make those repairs. The FTC specifically has called out this action as one that it finds disagreeable.
The FTC's statement today notes that the government agency agrees with tech advocates and repair houses and says that the idea of restricting customers and businesses from choosing how they repair products can substantially increase the total cost of repairs, generate harmful electronic waste, and unnecessarily increase wait times for repairs.
"For example, certain repair restrictions may constitute tying arrangements or monopolistic practices - such as refusals to deal, exclusive dealing, or exclusionary design - that violate the Sherman Act," the FTC said. "In addition, the Commission will analyze any material claims made to purchasers and users to ascertain whether there are any prohibited deceptive acts or practices."
Apple is likely to be one of the companies impacted by this change along with future changes that the FTC may decide on.
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