By Chris Wack

 

The Federal Trade Commission said Thursday it is taking action against grill maker Weber-Stephen Products LLC for illegally restricting customers' right to repair their purchased products.

Weber-Stephen Products is a unit of Weber Inc., which is majority owned by BDT Capital Partners.

The FTC's complaint charges that Weber's warranty included terms that conveyed that the warranty is void if customers use or install third-party parts on their grill products.

Last year, the FTC unanimously voted to ramp up law enforcement against repair restrictions that prevent small businesses, workers, consumers and even government entities from fixing their own products.

That policy statement was aimed at manufacturers' practices that make it extremely difficult for purchasers to repair their products or shop around for other service providers to do it for them. By enforcing against restrictions that violate antitrust or consumer protection laws, the commission said it took important steps to restore the right to repair.

The policy statement noted that such restrictions on repairs of devices, equipment, and other products have increased the burden on consumers and businesses. In addition, manufacturers and sellers may be restricting competition for repairs in a number of ways that might violate the law.

 

Write to Chris Wack at chris.wack@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 07, 2022 12:37 ET (16:37 GMT)

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