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Biden Says He’s Pushing FTC For Right To Repair Rules



right to repair symbol next to broken tablets and smart phones | Biden Says He’s Pushing FTC For Right To Repair Rules | featured

President Joe Biden reinforced his commitment to the Right to Repair executive order he issued six months ago. He proudly listed actions made by tech companies such as Microsoft and Apple to make it easier for consumers.

RELATED: Boeing and Airbus Warn Over 5G Technology Safety Concerns

Right to Repair Executive Order

United States Federal Trade Commission building in Washington, DC | Right to Repair Executive Order

Last summer, the president signed a right to repair executive order making it easier for consumers to fix their own devices. He directed the Federal Trade Commission to create the rules during a Monday evening meeting.  

As a result, many tech companies such as Apple and Microsoft said that they will honor their commitment. They said they will roll out plans making parts and manuals more accessible to the public.

“A lot of these companies said, ‘You’re right. We’re going to voluntarily do it. You don’t have to order us to do it,’ ” Biden said at Monday’s meeting.

Right To Repair Dead On The Water For Years

For many years, legislation involving the right to repair lay dormant on the voting floor. Many electronics manufacturers prevented device owners from repairing their own possessions.

As a result, these decisions also hurt consumers as they get hostage to an exclusive repair shop. They also diminished competition by limiting consumer choices. 

Biden said that for too many areas, whether it’s a smartphone or a tractor, companies restrict their buyers’ movements.

Customers have no freedom to choose how or where to repair their unit. He referred to electronics titan Apple and tractor manufacturer John Deere. 

Fixing Broken Items

When devices break down, Biden said that customers can only go to their dealer and pay the dealer’s cost to repair. If by any chance you managed to fix the problem yourself, manufacturers voided the warranty.

Biden also said that right to repair rules is a competition issue. They reduced repair options available to the consumer. 

Biden then thanked Apple and Microsoft for modifying their right to repair rules ahead of the FTC’s action. At the end of 2021, both Apple and Microsoft announced programs to help consumers repair their own iPhones, iPads, and Surfaces.

“What happened was a lot of these companies said, ‘You’re right. We’re going to voluntarily do it. You don’t have to order us to do it,'” Biden said. 

FTC Rules Covering Right To Repair

The FTC already started on its monster task of outlining and resolving issues covered by the right to repair EO. The order encouraged the FTC to issue anticompetitive rules against independent repair shops or DIY repairs.

Later this month, the agency said it would tackle unlawful right to repair restrictions by enforcing existing laws. It will also issue more guidelines to encourage consumers to turn to small repair shops to fix their products.

Watch the ABC News video reporting that from iPhones to tractors, the battle over the ‘right to repair’ continues:

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What do you think of Biden’s executive order instructing companies to comply with the right to repair rules? Do you think these companies will comply fully? Or, will they just wait until next year and have the orders rescinded by a potential new administration?

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