FTC Adopts “Right to Repair” Policy
On July 21, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) unanimously adopted a policy statement on repair restrictions imposed by manufacturers and sellers. Based on the action, the FTC will use its current statutory authority to prioritize investigations into unlawful repair restrictions by:
- Considering filing for injunctive relief under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act and monitoring private litigation (importantly, Magnuson-Moss is limited to consumer goods “normally used for personal, family, or household purposes.”)
- Scrutinizing repair restrictions for violations of antitrust laws, such as the Sherman Act.
- Assessing whether repair restrictions constitute unfair acts or practices as prohibited in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
- Working with state law enforcement and policymakers to ensure compliance and update existing laws and regulations to advance the goal of open repair markets.
At this time, the FTC isn’t pursuing further rulemaking, instead relying on its current statutes for possible enforcement. While it’s unclear how aggressively and when the FTC will implement its new policy, many of these issues will need to be resolved in court after enforcement actions are brought forward.
AED’s written comments to the FTC, which were filed in advance of the hearing, are available here.
AED, working with its industry partners in Washington, will continue to educate the FTC and Congress about the impact of right to repair on safety, the environment and the durability of heavy equipment. Stay tuned for further updates.
For more information, please contact Daniel B. Fisher, AED’s Vice President of Government & External Affairs, at firstname.lastname@example.org.