FTC Adopts “Right to Repair” Policy
On July 21, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission unanimously adopted a policy statement on repair restrictions imposed by manufacturers and sellers. According to information from the Associated Equipment Dealers, 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.
AED adds that the FTC is relying on current statutes for possible enforcement as opposed to new rulmaking. 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.