by Juli Clover
The United States Federal Trade Commission today announced that it is committed to devoting more of its resources to fight against unlawful repair restrictions in a move that has the potential to impact Apple in the future.
Earlier this month, U.S. President Joe Biden called on the FTC to create new right to repair rules that will prevent manufacturers from limiting consumers and businesses from repairing their own electronic devices. The FTC today followed up with a policy statement [PDF] and said that it plans to prioritize investigations into unlawful repair restrictions.
Restricting consumers 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. In contrast, providing more choice in repairs can lead to lower costs, reduce e-waste by extending the useful lifespan of products, enable more timely repairs, and provide economic opportunities for entrepreneurs and local businesses.
The FTC is urging the public to submit complaints and provide information to aid in its enforcement of right to repair options, and it will consider filing suit against those who violate the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act in addition to scrutinizing repair restrictions for violation of antitrust laws.
The FTC also plans to monitor private litigation to look for opportunities to investigate unfair repair practices, working with state law enforcement and policymakers to update existing laws and regulations.
The Commission will bring an interdisciplinary approach to this issue, using resources and expertise from throughout the agency to combat unlawful repair restrictions. The FTC will also closely coordinate with state law enforcement and policymakers to ensure compliance and to update existing law and regulation to advance the goal of open repair markets.
In a statement, FTC Chair Lina Khan said that the FTC has a “range of tools” that can be used to “root out unlawful repair restrictions” and the new policy statement commits the FTC to “move forward on this issue with new vigor.”
It’s not yet clear how Apple might be impacted, but the company has fought against Right to Repair bills that have been proposed in multiple U.S. states. Apple claims that allowing independent repair shops to work on Apple devices without oversight could lead to security, safety and quality issues.
Tuesday July 6, 2021 11:52 am PDT by Juli Clover
United States President Joe Biden plans to direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to create new right to repair rules that would affect tech companies like Apple, reports Bloomberg.
The rules would prevent manufacturers from limiting consumers’ options for repairing products at independent repair shops or on their own, and the presidential directive is expected to mention mobile phone…
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has published an in-depth report looking at how the product repair restrictions that manufacturers put in place negatively impact consumers and small businesses in various ways. Titled “Nixing the Fix,” the report covers a litany of methods that companies use to limit the ability for customers and independent business to repair their products. Focusing…
Thursday May 20, 2021 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
There have been a number of reports about Right to Repair legislation across the United States, and an equal number of reports about the lengths that Apple has gone to in order to block new repair bills from becoming law.
Bloomberg today shared a new Right to Repair piece that highlights how Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have worked to put a stop to laws that would require the tech…
Monday March 29, 2021 1:01 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today announced that it is expanding its Independent Repair Provider Program to more than 200 countries, which is nearly every country where Apple products are sold.
First introduced in 2019, the Independent Repair Provider Program is designed to provide repair shops with access to genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for performing out-of-warranty repairs for Apple…
Independent technicians have reportedly been able to use leaked MacBook schematics to aid repairs (via Vice).
Last month, Apple supplier Quanta Computer was hit with an attack by the ransomware group known as “REvil,” leading to a large quantity of internal Apple documents about both released and unreleased devices being exposed. The leaked PDFs, available on a number of forums and online…
Tuesday August 18, 2020 11:55 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple this week announced that it has expanded its Independent Repair Provider Program to include Mac repairs. Apple has since outlined further details about the initiative in an internal document obtained by MacRumors.
The internal document states the following:Qualifying repair shops can gain access to Apple genuine parts, tools, and training starting August 17
The program covers all Mac…
The European Parliament has this week voted to support the recommendations of the EU Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection on the “Right to Repair,” including a system of mandatory labelling on consumer electronics to provide explicit information on the repairability and lifespan of products (via iFixit).
The motion will compel the EU Commission to “develop and introduce …