A new legislation was introduced in the US House, it could force companies to provide repair guides and other resources to consumers, and third-party technicians to repair their own devices.
On Thursday, Rep. Joe Morelle (D-NY) introduced the Fair Repair Act. It requires manufacturers to provide diagnostic and repair information, provide parts, tools and any other resources to third-party repair shops “in a timely manner and on fair and reasonable terms”.
“For too long, large corporations have hindered the progress of small business owners and everyday Americans by preventing them from the right to repair their own equipment,” said Congressman Joe Morelle.
“It’s long past time to level the playing field, which is why I’m so proud to introduce the Fair Repair Act and put the power back in the hands of consumers. This common-sense legislation will help make technology repairs more accessible and affordable for items from cell phones to laptops to farm equipment, finally giving individuals the autonomy they deserve.”
Additionally, the bill would also allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and state attorneys general to carry out any, and all enforcement by penalizing those companies that don’t stick to the rules. This isn’t the first time we hear about a repair legislation, but it’s the first bill that is introduced to Congress, and it could have a huge impact on how companies deal with repair services, not to mention how much they charge for those services and the individual parts.
As pointed out by AppleInsider, there are a lot of state-level right to repair bills around that are being considered by nearly half of the states in the United States. A right to repair bill in California couldn’t go through after Apple and other major companies fought back.
It remains to be seen whether this new legislation will pass, and whether it has any impact on the industry. A lot of companies will likely try their best to fight back, since repair services are a very profitable business, one that also keeps consumers tied to the ecosystem in some cases. We should hear more in the coming weeks and months.