Consumer Reports and over a dozen organizations submitted a letter to the House Appropriations Committee in support of language included in the FY2022 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill report, which calls for a Committee briefing from the FTC on actions taken by the agency related to repair restrictions since publication of their report, Nixing the Fix.
In May, the FTC published an extensive report that concluded “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions” and announced that the FTC “stands ready to work with legislators… to ensure that consumers have choices when they need to repair products.” Additionally, President Biden, on July 9, released an Executive Order (EO) on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. Included among the 72 initiatives in the EO was a call for the FTC to curb “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third party repair or self-repair of items.” On July 21, the FTC unanimously adopted a new policy statement on Repair Restrictions Imposed by Manufacturers and Sellers “aimed at manufacturers’ practices that make it extremely difficult for purchasers to repair their products or shop around for other service providers to do it for them.”
Momentum continues to grow for actions that promote increased repair choice. Consumers deserve to decide where and how to repair products from smartphones and laptops to appliances, cars, and farm equipment. Competition drives lower repairs costs and increases access to repair, especially for those living in rural communities. Repair is also an essential way to reduce electronic waste.
For the full letter, please see the attached PDF.