Who’s in the mix at Nixing the Fix?

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Coldplay sang “Fix You,” but if the group had been referring to their tech devices, cars, or other products in need of repair, their efforts could have consumer protection ramifications. A July 16, 2019, FTC event, Nixing the Fix: A Workshop on Repair Restrictions, will focus on the state of the repair marketplace. Are manufacturers making it difficult (or even impossible) for consumers or independent shops to make product repairs? Are certain repair restrictions needed to ensure the security of consumer devices or to reduce the risk of injury? Do those practices affect consumers’ rights under the Magnuson-Moss Warranty Act? If this is an issue of interest to your company or your clients, check out the just-announced agenda for the half-day workshop.

Who will be speaking at Nixing the Fix? Small business owners, industry representatives, consumer advocates, regulators, legislators, and academics will share their perspectives on the consumer protection implications when widgets go wonky and people ask “Where to repair?”

FTC Commissioner Wilson will convene Nixing the Fix at 12:30 ET. Session #1 will address the question How do repair restrictions affect consumers and small businesses? The panel will explore the technological and financial impact, as well as potential safety considerations. Session #2 asks What are the arguments pro/anti repair restrictions? Advocates across the right to repair spectrum will present their pro, con, and something-in-between positions. So What’s the fix? Session #3 will explore proposed state legislation and industry initiatives. Attendees will hear from elected officials, trade associations, and right to repair advocates, and will learn about recent self-regulatory efforts. Lois Greisman, Director of the FTC’s Division of Marketing Practices, will present closing remarks.

Nixing the Fix is scheduled for Tuesday, July 16th, at the FTC’s Constitution Center, 400 7th Street, S.W., in Washington, DC. The event is free and open to the public. Minutes before the 12:30 ET start time, the webcast will go live. In addition, FTC staff will tweet throughout the workshop.
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