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Biden Sets Up Tech Showdown With ‘Right-to-Repair’ Rules for FTC

  • Order may loosen rules on who can undertake phone repairs
  • Pentagon contractors, farm equipment also under scrutiny
Updated on

President Joe Biden will direct the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to draft new rules aimed at stopping manufacturers from limiting consumers’ ability to repair products at independent shops or on their own, a person familiar with the plan said.

While the agency will ultimately decide the size and scope of the order, the presidential right-to-repair directive is expected to mention mobile phone manufacturers and Department of Defense contractors as possible areas for regulation. Tech companies including Apple Inc. and Microsoft Corp. have imposed limits on who can repair broken consumer electronics like game consoles and mobile phones, which consumer advocates say increases repair costs.