Department of Justice files in support of farmers in lawsuit against Deere’s repair restrictions
Federal antitrust experts show support for Right to Repair
On Monday, Feb. 13, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a “Statement of Interest” in a class action lawsuit alleging John Deere of illegally monopolizing the repair of it’s tractors. The case, brought by a host of farmers, is currently before a court in the Northern District of Illinois.
Specifically, the DOJ argues in their filing: “Consistent with Supreme Court precedent, the policy of the United States is ‘to enforce the antitrust laws to combat the excessive concentration of industry, the abuses of market power, and the harmful effects of monopoly and monopsony—especially as these issues arise in . . . agricultural markets, . . . repair markets,’ and elsewhere too.”
The filing (PDF) recommends that court reject Deere’s motion for summary judgement.
We thank the DOJ for standing up for farmers and pointing out something that should be common-sense: We should be able to fix our stuff. Farmers rely on this equipment to grow our food, and make a living doing so. Selling farmers equipment and then refusing to allow them to access the materials necessary to keep it running is simply unacceptable. The facts continue to show that is the case, and so Right to Repair continues to move forward. This filing sends Deere a strong signal.
— PIRG Right to Repair Campaign Director Kevin O’Reilly