President Joe Biden will soon be signing into effect an executive order that’ll make fixing your own tech gadgets easier and more accessible, finally addressing concerns long raised by various right-to-repair groups across the country.
According to new reports, a draft of the executive order was in the works earlier this week White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirms it will soon be issued. The new regulations come following a report from the Federal Trade Commission detailing the restrictive measures and practices by various tech giants such as Apple and Microsoft when it came to repairing their products, which the FTC concluded constituted anticompetitive behavior with “scant evidence to support manufacturers’ justifications.”
The executive order will give more consumers or independent repair shops access to the tools and parts required to fix devices, which in the past have often been limited by manufacturers, resulting in consumers being forced to go back to those companies and pay for repairs at exorbitant prices. Companies have often argued their case by saying independent repairs pose safety and security concerns, but the FTC found that “repair restrictions have…steered consumers into manufacturers’ repair networks to replace products before the end of their useful lives” and that they “place a greater financial burden on communities of color and lower-income Americans.”
Elsewhere in the tech industry, Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin and Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic are now arguing about where space actually begins.