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Bipartisan Agreement!!

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July 27, 2021

In a rare show of unanimity, the Federal Trade Commission voted 5 to 0 to enforce laws affecting the Right to Repair. Now consumers have the legal right to repair their own gadgets, if they’re tech-savvy enough to do so. Tim Wu, special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy within the National Economic Council called the Right to Repair a “visceral example” of the enormous imbalance between workers, consumers, small businesses, and larger entities. The vote is a clear indication that the FTC will enforce federal antitrust laws and a key law around consumer warranties—the Magnuson Moss Warranty Act—when it comes to personal device repairs. Proponents of the Right to Repair point to instances in which large manufacturers force consumers to go directly to the manufacturer for a minor fix. In the spring of 2020, medical device engineers pointed out the dangers of being denied access to tools for repairing critical devices, such as ventilators, during the pandemic.

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