U.S. President Joe Biden to Direct FTC to Draft Right to Repair Rules

United States President Joe Biden plans to direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to create new right to repair rules that would affect tech companies like Apple, reports Bloomberg.

apple independent repair program
The rules would prevent manufacturers from limiting consumers' options for repairing products at independent repair shops or on their own, and the presidential directive is expected to mention mobile phone developers as an area for possible regulation. The FTC will be able to decide on the size and the scope of the order, so it is not yet clear how Apple might be impacted.

Multiple states have proposed right to repair legislation, which Apple has continually lobbied against. Apple claims that allowing independent repair shops to work on Apple devices without oversight would lead to security, safety, and quality issues. Many of the right to repair bills that have circulated call on tech companies to provide repair manuals and easy access to device components for repair purposes.

Apple does its own repairs in house at Apple retail stores and repair centers around the world, but it also works with Apple Authorized Service Providers to provide repair options. AASPs are managed by Apple and must meet Apple requirements, with some repairs and components limited.

When Right to Repair bills began surfacing, Apple also launched a worldwide Independent Repair Program that is designed to provide repair shops that are not AASPs with genuine parts, tools, repair manuals, and diagnostics for performing out-of-warranty repairs on Apple devices.

Repair shops have complained that Apple's program is too limited as it requires an Apple-certified technician to perform the repairs (available under a free program), and some parts are not provided to independent repair shops.

Biden's executive order is expected to be released in the coming days, and White House economic adviser Brian Deese on Friday said that it is meant to spur "greater competition in the economy" as well as lower prices for American families.

Back in November, the European Parliament also voted to develop new Right to Repair rules that will require companies to provide explicit information about the repairability and lifespan of products on consumer packaging. Under the terms of this order, manufacturers will need to provide a repair score, something that France has already enacted.

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Top Rated Comments

JPack Avatar
4 weeks ago
You know it's ridiculous when you can't even buy an OEM battery replacement.

Can you imagine if you had to replace tires with OEM only? And if you didn't a warning light would appear?
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
moabal Avatar
4 weeks ago
I am not a fan of Joe Biden. However, if this is what it sounds like, I would be happy (Louis Rossmann too I imagine). However, any final regulation/law would probably be mucked up a little if it gets that far.

Edit: LOL people disliking this because I am not a fan of Joe Biden. Do not read too much into this.
Score: 40 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Doctor Q Avatar
4 weeks ago
Whether or not these bills become law, it's important for consumers to know if a repair company is run by Apple, is Apple-certified, is non-certified but uses only Apple parts, or is completly independent, and some way to verify this, so they can make informed choices.
Score: 38 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Expos of 1969 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Waiting to see what Louis Rossmann says about this.
Score: 30 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jk73 Avatar
4 weeks ago
Better/longer warranty protection would be far better than “right to repair.”
Score: 28 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ArtOfWarfare Avatar
4 weeks ago

This is just silly. If you can’t bother to get certified in the repair you‘re doing, you don’t have the right to be in business.

I’d like the government to stay out of this, personally. If it’s just a question of who has access to parts, I’m less bothered, but if it forces design changes on Apple the we all suffer.
Disagree 100%. You should be able to start your small repair shop today. The government should be focused on making it as easy as possible to start up a new business.

You want deregulation? The government is making it happen, removing all of Apple's regulations.

Really, this is simple monopoly busting. Apple is free to compete with their repair shops. If you think Apple's repairs are worth the higher price, by all means go with them. If you think Apple's certifications mean something, go ahead and use an Apple certified independent repair shop. But personally, I like the 16 year old in high school who will fix my phone for $30. Kid is learning how to operate a business and gaining skills for a trade - it's far more valuable than anything else they'll get in high school, and I applaud efforts to make it easier.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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