‘Right to Repair’ part of executive order to spur competition

July 9, 2021

Land Line Staff


President Biden signed an executive order Friday aimed at promoting competition throughout the U.S. economy by tackling “excessive market concentration” in key industries.

“Robust competition is critical to preserving America’s role as the world’s leading economy,” Biden said in a prepared statement before signing the Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. “Yet over the last several decades, as industries have consolidated, competition has weakened in too many markets, denying Americans the benefits of an open economy and widening racial, income and wealth inequality.”

The order’s impact is expected to be felt in a number of industries, including transportation and agriculture.

The order encourages the Federal Trade Commission “to address agreements that may unduly limit workers’ ability to change jobs” by exercising its rulemaking authority to limit the unfair use of noncompete clauses and other clauses or agreements that may limit worker mobility.

‘Right to Repair’

There’s also a so-called “Right to Repair” provision encouraging the FTC chair to use its authority to address “unfair anti-competitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment.”

The order also encourages the FTC to address a number of other areas, including:

  • Unfair data collection and surveillance practices that may damage competition, consumer autonomy, and consumer privacy.
  • Unfair competition in major internet marketplaces.
  • Unfair occupational licensing restrictions.

The order also directs the secretary of transportation to promote enhanced transparency and consumer safeguards for air travel, including a proposed rule requiring airlines to refund baggage fees when baggage is substantially delayed.

The full text of the order can be read here. LL

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