The National Farmers Union is praising the Federal Trade Commission’s 5-0 vote to adopt a policy statement to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions on equipment.
Those restrictions prevent small businesses, workers, consumers, and government entities from fixing their products.
“Farmers are among the most affected by such restrictions; currently, farm equipment manufacturers refuse to sell software repair tools to farmers or independent mechanics,” the organization says in a news release. “This all but forces farmers to take their broken machinery to a licensed dealership, which can be expensive and inconvenient.”
The Hagstrom Report says the NFU has long supported a farmer’s right to repair.
The organization is encouraged that the administration is finally taking action to eliminate unnecessary and unfair repair restrictions that will give farmers greater freedom to fix their equipment.
The FTC says, “The policy statement adopted today is aimed at manufacturers’ practices that make it extremely difficult for purchasers to repair their products or shop around for service providers to do it for them.”
By taking action against the restrictions that violate antitrust or consumer protection laws, the commission says it’s taking important steps to restore the right to repair.