President Joe Biden is preparing to direct the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to create “right to repair” rules.
Calls for right to repair have been increasing as legislators and consumer groups have argued that tech companies are making it more expensive to repair common electronic devices. Even something as simple as changing a cellphone battery often requires taking the phone to an authorized repair center.
Growing calls for right to repair helped lead the New York Senate to pass a right to repair bill. Similarly, Congressman Joe Morelle has introduced right to repair legislation in the US House of Representatives.
According to Bloomberg, President Biden is preparing to direct the FTC to create right to repair rules that would provide “greater competition in the economy, in service of lower prices for American families and higher wages for American workers,” said White House economic adviser Brian Deese.
In addition to electronics, as Bloomberg points out, the rules would greatly benefit farmers and others who use specialty equipment. Many manufacturers use proprietary tools and software to diagnose and repair equipment, greatly limiting options for the end user. This drives up the price of repairs and prevents farmers and others from using less expensive options.
An executive order should be forthcoming in the next few days.