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The FTC votes unanimously to strengthen the right to redress

During the open At a committee meeting on Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission voted unanimously to enforce the Right to Repair Act, ensuring that U.S. consumers can repair their electronic and automotive devices.

The Of the FTC acceptance of the rules is not an unexpected result; The issue of the Right to Reparation has been a huge bipartisan one, and the FTC itself has given a long report in May the manufacturers exploded due to limited repairs. By votes of 5 to 0, the committee is committed to enforcing federal antitrust laws and a key law on consumer guarantees. Magnuson Moss Warranty Act—Regarding personal devices.

The vote, led by the new FTC president and well-known technical critic Lina Khan, also came 12 days after President Joe Biden he signed an extensive executive order It aims to promote competition in the US economy. The demand targeted a wide range of industries, from banks to airlines and technology companies. Part of that prompted the FTC, which operates as an independent agency, to create new rules that would prevent companies from limiting repair options for consumers.

“When you buy an expensive product, be it a half-million-dollar tractor or a thousand-dollar phone, it’s up to the manufacturer in a very real sense,” says Special Assistant to President Tim Wu. For the National Economic Council’s technology and competition policies. “And when they have unreasonable repair specifications, you can’t do much.”

Wu added that Right to repair it has become a “vicious example” of the enormous imbalance between workers, consumers, small businesses and large organizations.

Fixed position

The FTC vote is another victory for the US Right to Repair movement, led by advocacy groups like this United States Public Interest Research Group, as well as private companies iFixed, A California-based company that sells gadget repair kits and publishes repair manuals for DIY. Proponents of the Right to Repair have long argued that consumers should have access to tools, parts, documentation, and software to fix their products, be it a phone or a tractor.

These groups also quickly call for cases where large manufacturers block or limit their options for repairing independent products or force consumers to return directly to the manufacturer, and then charge a premium for a repair. And it’s not just about fixing a broken glass in a phone or fixing an incredibly small smartwatch: in the spring of 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic, medical device engineers he began to speak in times of crisis the risk of not having access to critical devices, such as fans, for repair tools.

As more products are designed with Internet connectivity — from smartphones to refrigerators to cars — the issue of repair rights becomes more and more difficult. Proponents of repairs say consumers should have access to all the data collected by their personal devices, and independent repair shops should have the same diagnostic software as “authorized” outlets.

“I urge the FTC to use its regulatory authority to strengthen basic consumer and private property rights and update the digital age as manufacturers seek to turn hundreds of millions of technology owners into their property tenants,” Paul said. Roberts, founder, in the public comment section of today’s FTC meeting. “Digital Repair Rights is an essential tool that will extend the life of electronic devices.”

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