Right to repair - we WIN!!

Diggin It

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What I'm reading is they have to make parts available as well as diagnostic software and manuals.
I don't read that at all. I read GovSpeak like:

"While unlawful repair restrictions have generally not been an enforcement priority for the Commission for a number of years,4 the Commission has determined that it will devote more enforcement resources to combat these practices.5 Accordingly, the Commission will now prioritize investigations into unlawful repair restrictions"

Second, the Commission will scrutinize repair restrictions for violations of the antitrust laws. For example, certain repair restrictions may constitute tying arrangements or monopolistic practices—such as refusals to deal, exclusive dealing, or exclusionary design—that violate the Sherman Act.8 Violations of the Sherman Act also violate the prohibition on unfair methods of competition codified in Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Third, the Commission will assess whether repair restrictions constitute unfair acts or practices, which are also prohibited by Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. In addition, the Commission will analyze any material claims made to purchasers and users to ascertain whether there are any prohibited deceptive acts or practices, in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Finally, the Commission will bring an interdisciplinary approach to this issue, using resources and expertise from throughout the agency ...




In other words, don't get your hopes up.
 

orezok

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While the FTC makes rules, they don’t make laws. Congress does that and those are the people whose pockets are lined by the “you really don’t own your tractor” people.

From FTC code

ENFORCEMENT AUTHORITY​

Following an investigation, the Commission may initiate an enforcement action using either an administrative or judicial process if it has “reason to believe” that the law is being or has been violated. The Commission enforces both consumer protection and antitrust laws. Violations of some laws may result in civil penalties, which are adjusted annually for inflation. Commission Rule 1.98, 16 C.F.R. Sec. 1.98.

If there is not a law, FTC can only bluster and threaten.
 
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sunandsand

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Here's how I see this working out . . .

Class action suit against Deere, Apple, GM or some other biggie, and the biggie loses. (Or if they don't lose outright, they have to make some serious concessions).

The lawyers for all the smaller players realize that if General Motors can't fight this and win, they need to change their game real soon now.

As an example, Rolex and Swatch Group (which owns probably 50 or more different "names" in the watch business) don't sell parts. You have to send it to THEM for service.

There are ways around this but it would be much simpler if someone could just order the parts from them and have a local watchmaker (a dying breed, by the way, "no parts" has something to do with that) do the work. Since the parts and service are captive, the prices tend to be really, really high and you have no alternatives - so you get to suck it up.

I have a Rado Ceramic watch (Swatch group) and they won't sell parts. In fact, they wouldn't even tell me the battery number, saying "We don't like other people working on our watches." First, it isn't their watch any more, it is mine now, and second, I can have any part I need sent to me from the UK, and from several sources. (And I have done so.)

There's not a huge amount of money involved here (I can always buy a different watch), but there are instances where a LOT of money is a stake.

Deere is likely going to be one of the first targets for a class action suit. The products are expensive, the owners are not willing to let themselves be pushed around, and Deere has deep pockets (a requirement for the success of any lawsuit). Apple will likely be next.

One of the things this ruling is going to eliminate is stuff like a popular brand of ear buds which use a specific Varta battery. Varta will not sell these batteries "outside", stating a contractual obligation to the earbud maker. Of course, if your battery goes dead and you send it in to the ONLY service center, well, you're gonna need a new one, this one is unrepairable - send money (and there's a disposal fee or a return fee for the old one as well).

This is just beginning, and there are enough people who want it for something to happen. At last.

Best Regards.

Mike/Florida
 

ranger danger

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You bought it but you don't own it. Take Samsung cell phones as an instance. They send out "updates" every 2-3 months. You have a window of time to allow the phone to update at your time frame. If you don't, the phone updates itself automatically wether you want it to or not. You don't own it. Sucks!!
 
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/pine

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More and more things are going to fall under the same laws that protect intellectual property...just like software...if you didn't write it...you don't own it...all anyone owns is a license to use it (software)...and are restricted to whatever limitations etc. the owner(s) wish to include in the user agreements...(that have to be agreed to before it can be used)...get used to it...
 

joecdeere

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Sure, one day the software will be available for you to purchase, wait to you see the price and copyrights they put on it to keep it out of your hands
 

Tinhack

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I received a few email ads offering diagnostic equipment for autos, trucks and tractors. I wish I would have kept them. I don't even recall who they were from. At the time, I thought they were just bogus junk mail offers. They were sent to my old business email.

Perhaps someone is ready to cash in on the equipment. May even be the tractor manufacturers.
 

Torvy

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Be careful what you wish for, this is likely going to skyrocket the prices for everything. If a manufacturer's plan was to keep the repairs business and that margin is gone, they have to recoup it somewhere. Not sure how this is really going to work. Typically when the federal government gets involved in a solution, it is just moving the problem from the private sector to the government. The government does not have long track record of successful departments.
 
  
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sunandsand

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Prices may or may not go up, and it will vary by industry.

Deere being forced to disclose will cut their profit margins, but they can't raise prices significantly because they have competition from other companies which make the same or very similar products. If a red/orange/black/purple tractor costs half of what a green one does because the green tractor maker raised the prices a lot to preserve their margin, they aren't going to sell many green tractors because we can buy a very similar product for half the price. They'll have to convince us the the green premium is worth that much difference.

The only way this works is with absolutely unique products - you buy OUR product or you do without. If there is enough demand, it will attract competitors and then the product isn't unique any more.

Software is another story. There is SO MUCH free and very good software out there that paying list price is just about inexcusable. Free is a very tough price to beat. Software gets expensive when it is (again) unique. Local college got a CNC machine donated, big impressive device only a few years old, but useless, there's no software to make it work.

I think what will change is the composition of the company's profit centers. They will realize (as you point out) that their captive service just went away, and will have to find ways to compensate.

The smart companies will boast about how repairable their devices are and how easy it is to get parts, so it is worth paying a little more for our (whatever) instead of buying a cheaper one from a competitor for which there are no parts or parts take forever to arrive.

Personally, I'm quite willing to pay a little more for something I can fix and keep instead of paying a little less for something I can only discard when it breaks.

The dumb companies will raise their prices and then find themselves losing market share to their competitors.

We're in for an interesting ride . . .

Best Regards,

Mike/Florida
 

RickB

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There's no corporate competitive advantage regarding right to repair. I've said before, Deere is getting all the ink but every single tractor manufacturer will be affected in the same way because each and every one has approached the issue exactly the same.
 
 
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