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WASHINGTON -- The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued a report today on manufacturers' use of restrictive repair tactics that have kept consumers from repairing their own products. The report thoroughly reviewed comments from both Right to Repair advocates and manufacturers who argued for repair restrictions. It also reviewed regulatory tools at the FTC, and pending Right to Repair reforms in the states, which could be used to address those restrictions.
The FTC report clearly laid out that repair restrictions are harming consumers, and concluded, “there is scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications for repair restrictions.”
In response, U.S. PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director Nathan Proctor, who was cited numerous times in the report, issued the following statement:
The bipartisan, unanimous report is yet another indication that Right to Repair isn't a partisan idea, but rather common sense. People need to fix things, and manufacturers’ behavior toward repair is damaging and unacceptable. The FTC report strongly supports our argument that there is no good reason for companies to keep blocking repair access.
As we fight a combined opposition of $10.7 trillion in state houses around the country, I'm appreciative that the FTC has signaled its willingness to work with state and federal lawmakers to help ensure that consumers have the right to repair their own products.
I hope the FTC will act quickly on the steps they have identified. We were encouraged that the FTC said it would enforce existing requirements based specifically on comments submitted by U.S. PIRG that they said had ‘raised serious concerns.’
After their 2019 Nixing the Fix workshop, it took almost two years for the FTC to report back; we hope that taking action to protect consumers’ right to repair happens much faster this time.
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