The FTC is now fully adopting the Right to Repair policy that would prevent all manufacturers from limiting consumer options when repairing their products. In other words, this would allow users to take their devices to independent repair shops, which goes against Apple’s repair rules. The FTC has started with the process, as it has unanimously voted to approve a new policy that wants to restore the Right to Repair for anyone who wishes to do so.
“The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the policy statement during an open Commission meeting live streamed to its website.”
Following these events, the Federal Trade Commission has recently shared an update that will help to prevent repair restrictions.
“The Federal Trade Commission today unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and even government entities from fixing their own products. The policy statement adopted today is 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. By enforcing against restrictions that violate antitrust or consumer protection laws, the Commission is taking important steps to restore the right to repair.”
“In May, the FTC released a report to Congress that concluded that manufacturers use a variety of methods—such as using adhesives that make parts difficult to replace, limiting the availability of parts and tools, or making diagnostic software unavailable—that have made consumer products harder to fix and maintain. The policy statement notes that such restrictions on repairs of devices, equipment, and other products have increased the burden on consumers and businesses. In addition, manufacturers and sellers may be restricting competition for repairs in a number of ways that might violate the law.”
“These types of restrictions can significantly raise costs for consumers, stifle innovation, close off business opportunity for independent repair shops, create unnecessary electronic waste, delay timely repairs, and undermine resiliency,” FTC Chair Lina Khan said during an open Commission meeting. “The FTC has a range of tools it can use to root out unlawful repair restrictions, and today’s policy statement would commit us to move forward on this issue with new vigor.”
Now, we can’t be sure as to how this will affect Apple, but we know that Cupertino has been against Right to Repair bills, as the company believes that third-party repairs could lead to security, safety, and quality issues.