President Biden, earlier this week, signed an Executive Order called on the FTC to institute rules to curb anticompetitive restrictions that limit consumers’ ability to repair gadgets on their own terms.
There are 72 initiatives in the order, aimed at promoting competition in the US economy, Biden specifically asked the FTC to crack down on “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment.”
The order is a huge win for the R2R advocates who have fought for a consumer’s choice to have their technology fixed either by third parties or on their own, rather than solely by the manufacturer.
Nathan Proctor US PIRG Campaign Director (and #DSS21 speaker) said:
“More repair choices will protect the environment by cutting down on the amount of new electronics we make and old stuff we toss,” Proctor said. “More choices help save money and cut down-time waiting for the manufacturer’s technician, which is especially important for farmers on tight planting or harvesting schedules. This is a win.”
Biden specifically took aim at cell phone makers and other tech companies that “impose restrictions on self and third-party repairs, making repairs more costly and time-consuming, such as by restricting the distribution of parts, diagnostics, and repair tools.”
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