Statement: Apple’s stance on the right to repair targeted in federal antitrust investigation

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Today, the House Judiciary Committee delivered a bipartisan request to Apple CEO Tim Cook for documents related to its investigation into possible anti-competitive practices. The committee sent similar letters to Amazon, Google and Facebook as well. 

The letter, signed by the Judiciary Committee chair Rep. Jerry Nadler and ranking member Rep. Doug Collins, as well as Antitrust Subcommittee chair Rep. David Cicilline and ranking member Rep. James Sensenbrenner, included specific requests regarding issues raised by U.S. PIRG and other right to repair advocates. It.asked for “all communications to or from the Relevant Executives” relating to: 

  • “Apple’s restrictions on third-party repair” which even include Apple restricting what its own authorized shops are permitted to do; 

  • Apple’s internal communications around how much battery replacements would impact new phone sales; 

  • Apple’s recent decision to introduce a new program to sell spare parts to independent shops, “including what parts to make available and at what price;” 

  • Apple’s recent “agreement with Amazon to sell Apple products on Amazon and to limit the resellers that can sell Apple products on Amazon.” 

Nathan Proctor, the director of U.S. PIRG’s Right to Repair Campaign, issued this statement: 

“People should be able to fix their products, and when companies work to undermine repair, not only do they frustrate their customers, but also they should be concerned with whether they are on the wrong side of the law. 

“Repair saves money, and cuts the amount of electronic waste — the fastest growing part of the waste stream — that we generate. Apple and every other electronics company should realize that the demand for repair isn’t going to go away. Companies should cooperate, support independent repair and avoid exposing themselves to regulatory and legal risks. 

“When it comes to restricting repair, Apple isn’t alone and a lot of other companies should take this letter as a warning.” 


U.S. PIRG is the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups. PIRGs are non-profit, non-partisan public interest advocacy organizations that stand up to powerful interests whenever they threaten our health and safety, our financial security, or our right to fully participate in our democratic society.