Photo (c) MirageC - Getty ImagesWhen a product breaks, even Democrats and Republicans agree that consumers have a right to repair it.
In a unanimous vote, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said it will increase enforcement actions against companies that prevent the owner of a product from repairing it in the easiest and most cost-effective way possible.
The move is aimed at countering widespread industry practices that require defective products to be repaired by the manufacturer or to be discarded and replaced. The agency said the practice not only harms consumers but also prevents small businesses, workers, and even government entities from fixing their own products.
The FTC says no legislation or executive orders are necessary. It said it will enforce existing rules against restrictions that “violate antitrust or consumer protection laws.”
Specifically, the FTC said the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act prohibits, among other things, tying a consumer’s product warranty to the use of a specific service provider or product, unless the FTC has issued a waiver.