FTC Releases Final Agenda for Workshop that will Examine Restrictions on Third-Party Repairs of Consumer Products

The Federal Trade Commission released the final agenda for its July 16, 2019 workshop examining ways in which manufacturers may limit third-party repairs of various consumer products.

Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions will examine how manufacturers may limit repairs by consumers and repair shops and whether those limitations affect consumer protection— including consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act, which is aimed at helping consumers make informed purchasing decisions and access remedies if a product does not perform as specified. For example, mobile phone manufacturers, gaming device makers, and car manufacturers are some of the companies that have placed restrictions on the types of parts or service providers that can be used to keep their warranties intact.

FTC Commissioner Christine S. Wilson will provide opening remarks followed by three panel discussions. The first panel will examine how repair restrictions affect consumers and small businesses. The second panel will debate the benefits and disadvantages of repair restrictions. The last panel will examine proposed state legislation and industry initiatives to address concerns about repair restrictions.

The FTC sought empirical research related to repair restrictions and is continuing to seek comments on the event until September 16, 2019. Both the empirical research submissions and the comments can be accessed via the event page.

The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET and will take place at the Constitution Center, 400 7th St., SW, Washington, D.C. The event will also be webcast live on the FTC’s website and will be live tweeted using the hashtag #nixthefixFTC.

The Federal Trade Commission works to promote competition, and protect and educate consumers. You can learn more about consumer topics and file a consumer complaint online or by calling 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357). Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, read our blogs, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.