FTC Promises Enforcement
Last week, the Federal Trade Commission promised to step up enforcement proceedings against manufacturers that prevent independent repair of their goods.
On July 21, the commission, a federal organization entrusted with concentrating on consumer protection and antitrust legislation, adopted a statement guaranteeing that independent repair of electronic equipment will be given more attention. The FTC admitted in the policy statement that enforcing illegal repair limitations has not been a top focus for the agency for some years. The commission now claims to be dedicating more resources to the issue.
Restricting customers and businesses from choosing how they repair items can significantly increase the total cost of repairs, produce hazardous electronic waste, and unnecessarily increase repair wait times. Providing additional repair options, on the other hand, may cut prices, minimize e-waste by extending the usable life of electronics and computer equipment, enable more timely repairs, and create economic possibilities for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
.President Joe Biden signed an executive order pushing the FTC to promote right-to-repair rules two weeks ago, prompting the remark. It also comes after a federal right-to-repair measure was submitted in June, and a state right-to-repair bill cleared one floor vote in New York state, marking the first time a law has gotten that far.
FTC Pledges Action
The statement outlines numerous specific actions that the FTC will take as well as activities that the public is encouraged to do.
- scrutinize repair limitations for antitrust law violations
- investigate whether repair limitations are considered “unfair acts or practices”
- update current legislation and regulation to promote the aim of open repair markets
- work closely with state law enforcement and politicians to guarantee compliance
- encourage consumers to file complaints and provide information that assists in enforcing repair limits
FTC Chair Lina Khan and Commissioner Rohit Chopra released remarks expressing their support for the proposal prior to the unanimous decision. Chopra said the FTC’s procedure for the public to report repair breaches, among other things, has to be improved. The policy announcement comes after the federal government released a study in May criticizing manufacturers that limit device maintenance.
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