FTC Unanimously Backs New Policy Supporting Your Right to Repair Your Own Devices

Home Technology FTC Unanimously Backs New Policy Supporting Your Right to Repair Your Own Devices
FTC Unanimously Backs New Policy Supporting Your Right to Repair Your Own Devices
FTC chair Lina Khan
FTC chair Lina Khan.
Photo: Graeme Jennings-Pool/Getty Images (Getty Images)

Following an executive order from President Biden, today the Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to adopt a new a policy designed to support the growing right to repair movement.

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Passed in a 5-0 decision, the FTC’s new policy is designed to make it easier for consumers to fix their own devices and also pledges to step up investigations of companies suspected of having unlawful repair restrictions. That’s something the FTC admitted has not been an “enforcement priority for the Commission for a number of years.”

No new laws have been set in stone just yet, but the FTC’s new policy outlines five things it’s looking to improve going forward. The first is that the FTC will now prioritize investigations into unlawful repair restrictions covered under laws like the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act. Additionally, the FTC says it will urge the public to submit complaints and info about companies that are potentially violating relevant laws, while also keeping a closer eye on private litigation to help decide which companies may require further investigation.

The FTC says it will also “scrutinize repair restrictions for violations of the antitrust laws” that may violate the Sherman Act or promote monopolistic practices. On top of that, the FTC says it also plans to examine what kind of repair restrictions are unfair, and will “analyze any material claims made to purchasers” in order to determine if those practices are in violation of the law.

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