Professor Michael Carrier published How the Federal Trade Commission Can Use Section 5 To Strengthen the Right to Repair in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.
Consumers’ right to repair their products is under attack. Manufacturers have decimated this long-held right by making parts unavailable, preventing products from working, and imposing software restrictions. Farmers can no longer repair tractors, medical professionals can’t fix ventilators, and military officers are stuck with broken equipment.
In this article, Prof. Carrier offers a framework for the FTC to challenge this behavior as an “unfair method of competition” under Section 5 of the FTC Act. Given repair restrictions’ questionable justifications and severe effects on lives and livelihoods, a competition-based tool promises real benefits.