Joe Biden Formally Backs Consumers’ Right to Repair Their Electronics


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President Biden became the first incumbent president to give extensive comments in support of the right to repair and recognizing the anti-competitive practices of electronics manufacturers who have spent the past decade creating monopolies on repairs and making it harder for consumers to repair things they own.

At a cabinet meeting on Monday, Biden gave information about executive order he issued last year in which he ordered the Federal Trade Commission to create a right to repair rules that would protect against anti-competitive practices. “The right to repair,” he said. “Sounds so stupid, but we call it the right to repair, and it’s literally.”

“Too many areas, if you own a product, from a smartphone to a tractor, you do not have the freedom to choose how and where to repair the purchased goods,” – added Biden. “It broke. Well, what should I do with it, if it broke, I had to go to the dealer and had to pay the dealer’s price, the dealer’s price. If you tried to fix it yourself, some manufacturers would actually void the warranty. ”

Here, Biden was referring to the practices of John Deere and Apple, as well as game console makers, which, according to the motherboard, violate the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act with “Warranty Canceled Warranty” stickers.

In his statements, Biden said he was “pleased to see that the Federal Trade Commission has unanimously announced that it will step up enforcement against illegal restrictions on repairs.” He also took credit for the latest steps by Amazon and Microsoft, which would theoretically make it easier for people to access parts and manuals for their devices. “People will be able to repair their phones and laptops on their own, but I’m not sure I know how to do that. Whenever I have a problem with my phone, I call my daughter. But it will make it easier for millions of Americans to repair electronics instead of paying an arm and a leg for repairs or just throwing away the device. ”

The Biden administration has always interpreted the law on the right to repair as pro-competition, emphasizing that taking away options from people harms the market, that harms families. “Between rising prices and lower wages, the lack of competition has cost the average American family $ 5,000 a year, according to a study conducted at New York University,” Biden said in a statement.

The right-of-repair movement came about a long way over the past few years. Biden’s speech follows immediately after executive order it was signed in 2021, paving the way for legislation on the right to repair in the US, then the FTC officially adopted took a position on the right to repair and began to study new enforcement mechanisms. At the same time, several proposed laws pass through state and federal legislatures that would enshrine the right to repair.

This is a problem that goes far beyond allowing people to fix their own iPhones. John Deere tractor repair became a nightmare software and limitations. This is such a problem that the market for tractors manufactured before the advent of on-board computers exploded.

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