Skip to main content

Right to Repair

Reviewing Antitrust Cases for Plaintiffs Nationwide 
Nationwide Success

Right to Repair Lawyer

investigating antitrust & anti-competition violations

The Lyon Firm is investigating companies who may be violating antitrust laws by restricting consumers’ right to repair purchased products such as smartphones, agricultural machinery, automobiles and various other high-tech products.

Manufacturers of various consumer products have long looked for new ways to milk clients for repair and maintenance costs long after an initial purchase. But consumers and business owners say it has gone too far and are fighting back for their right to seek independent repair, and ultimately, fair and competitive pricing.

The Lyon Firm recently filed an antitrust complaint against John Deere, alleging the company required its client base to exclusively repair their tractors at dealerships, despite a long history of allowing independent repairs. The company, like many others, complicated their software and made it impossible for owners to make simple repairs on their own.

Many other consumer electronics and machinery have been produced in a similar manner, requiring the original manufacturer to make the necessary fixes. They may even lock devices in some cases, preventing a repair when possible.

Some smartphone companies use “part pairing,” which requires specific parts, even though another might be identical and usable. Apple has been known to use such tactics, and has restricted consumers right to find independent repairs.

Restricting access to parts and software, in theory, appears anti-consumerist and should be unlawful. But the practice has been tolerated throughout history. That may be changing soon, however, and consumers may be able to take legal action against companies who require exclusive dealings (tying arrangements) with them for any kind of repair or maintenance.

What is the Right to Repair and Why is it Important?

The term “Right to Repair” is pretty self-explanatory; it refers to the concept of allowing anyone who purchased a product, whether a consumer or business owner, to freely repair and maintain their products.

The movement for new legislation was spurred on by automotive consumers protection agencies and the automotive repair industry, but has quickly been adopted by all consumer rights organizations as many  industrially produced devices and machines have become more and more complex.

The goals of the right to repair laws are simply to make repairs more affordable and to encourage competition. Consumer protection advocates argue that companies should be required to adhere to the following guidelines:

  • A device, vehicle or machine should be produced and designed in a way that allows repairs to be made as easily as possible. It should be easily unlockable and accessible for repair.
  • The end user (an individual or company who purchased the product), as well as independent repair service providers, should have access to original spare parts and tools (software included) needed to repair the device at a fair price.
  • Any software updates, repairs and maintenance should be encouraged and not hindered by complex software programming.
  • The instructions for repairing a product should be clearly outlined and published by the manufacturer in a physical manual or online.

Are There Right to Repair Laws?

U.S. lawmakers are playing a bit of catch-up with related legislation to ensure that your vehicles, electronic devices and agriculture equipment can be properly serviced by independent outlets.

The introduced legislation will ensure consumers and independent repair shops have equal access to repair and maintain products without dealing with exclusive software and tools.

The proposed competition bill would require all tools and equipment, wireless transmission of repair and diagnostic data and access to on-board diagnostic systems needed for repairs be made available to the independent repair industry. Much of the debate is centered around cars, mobile devices and other sophisticated technology like industrial machinery.

The first successful implementation of a right to repair law came when Massachusetts passed a bill that targeted the automotive sector in 2012. the law required automobile manufacturers to sell the same service materials and diagnostics directly to consumers or to independent mechanics as they had previously provided exclusively to dealerships.

How do I Know if I have a Right to Repair Case?

If you have purchased a product, either as an individual consumer or a business owner, and in order to fix or maintain the product you are forced to use the original manufacturer, you may have a case.

Consumers have a right to fair and competitive pricing. When manufacturers control basic maintenance or repairs with exclusive software or tools, they may be limiting competition and violating antitrust law.

Is Planned Obsolescence Legal?

Planned obsolescence, or the corporate policy of designing a product with a limited useful life so that it loses function or becomes obsolete after a pre-determined period of time, is nothing new.

Companies have been using this tactic (deliberately shortening the lifespan of a product to force people to purchase a replacement) for many years in fact. It has been a steady way to generate long-term sales, even if it continually irritates consumers.

While Europe has addressed this issue more thoroughly, there are no comprehensive laws existing yet in the US to prohibit this kind of corporate behavior.

photo of complex device repair

Why do People want the Right to Repair?

Consumers and business owners always want to control costs, and capitalist governments always want to encourage competition. That is why people want the right to take a purchased product for independent repair or maintenance.  

Contact Joe Lyon to discuss your right to repair case. The Lyon Firm handles class action antitrust cases nationwide and has experience engaging some of the largest corporations in the country. 


Joseph Lyon has 17 years of experience representing individuals in complex litigation matters. He has represented individuals in every state against many of the largest companies in the world.

The Firm focuses on single-event civil cases and class actions involving corporate neglect & fraud, toxic exposure, product defects & recalls, medical malpractice, and invasion of privacy.


The Firm offers contingency fees, advancing all costs of the litigation, and accepting the full financial risk, allowing our clients full access to the legal system while reducing the financial stress while they focus on their healthcare and financial needs.



  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

photo of attorney Joe Lyon
Protect Capitalism & Economic Freedom

Why are Antitrust Lawsuits Important?

Without antitrust lawsuits, large corporate defendants would be able to cause large amounts of harm to consumers and small business without any risk of monetary penalty.

Antitrust violation claims enforce regulatory statutes that keep companies honest and hold them accountable when they deceive the public or fall below acceptable industry standards. 

Antitrust Laws & Violations

In 1890, congress passed the first antitrust law, the Sherman Act, aimed at “preserving free and unfettered competition as the rule of trade.” It was billed as “An Act to Protect Trade and Commerce Against Unlawful Restraints and Monopolies.”

In 1914, Congress passed two other antitrust laws: the Federal Trade Commission Act, which created the FTC, and the Clayton Act. These laws are still the backbone of current antitrust law.

The antitrust laws were broad and written in general terms, leaving courts to consider each individual case. The market has changed in almost every way conceivable since these laws were established, yet the laws still aim to protect competition for the benefit of consumers. The goal is ultimately to keep prices low, and keep quality high.

The Sherman Act focuses on the breaking of monopolies, business collusion and conspiracy. The penalties for Sherman Act violations are strict, and claims can be filed civilly and criminally law. Those in violation may be prosecuted by the Department of Justice. Criminal prosecutions are possible when competitors fix prices or rig bids. The Sherman Act imposes criminal penalties of up to $100 million for a corporation and $1 million for an individual, along with up to 10 years imprisonment.

The Federal Trade Commission Act bans unfair or deceptive methods of competition and business practices. The Supreme Court has said that all violations of the Sherman Act also violate the FTC Act.

The Clayton Act addresses specific practices that the Sherman Act does not clearly prohibit, such as mergers and acquisitions and discriminatory prices. The Clayton Act authorizes private parties to sue for damages when they have been harmed by Sherman or Clayton Act violations.

Antitrust Violation Questions

What is Antitrust Law?

Antitrust laws exists to ensure that no one company, or a group of companies in cahoots, have so much power that they can disrupt the entire competitive market.

Antitrust law gives regulators the power to reign companies in when they grow too large or act in unlawful manners. Some antitrust statutes outlaw specific actions, and may prevent or undo specific results.

What are Common Antitrust Violations?
  • Monopolization
  • Predatory pricing
  • Refusal to Deal
  • Boycotting
  • Exclusive dealing agreements
  • Bid rigging
  • Price fixing
  • Market Division (customer allocation)
  • Anti-poaching (wage fixing)
  • Price discrimination
Who can file an Antitrust Lawsuit?

In many cases, state attorney generals and the Department of Justice will pursue companies who violate antitrust laws. However, private parties can also bring claims to enforce the antitrust laws. Antitrust lawsuits can be brought by small businesses and individuals seeking damages for violations of the Sherman or Clayton Act. Private parties can seek court orders to prevent anti-competitive behaviors or bring suits under state antitrust laws.

What Types of Damages Are Available in an Antitrust Lawsuit?

Anti-competitive law is quite strong as antitrust violations can have a huge impact on individual businesses and the economy as a whole. To discourage companies from pursuing illegal business practices, antitrust law allows courts to award plaintiffs triple the amount of the economic injury.

Who enforces Antitrust Violations?

The FTC and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Antitrust Division enforce antitrust laws and may take legal action when necessary. The FTC devotes most resources to certain consumer arenas such as health care, pharmaceuticals, food, energy, and technology.

What is the right to repair?

From tractors to wheelchairs, consumers and business owners are fighting to have a right to repair their purchased products without returning to the original manufacturer to exclusively fix a broken machine or product. Consumers, by law, have a right to repair a product independently for a fair price. When companies control the right to repair with sophisticated software, they may be violating antitrust laws. 

What are some Notable Antitrust Settlements?

Visa and Mastercard: Business owners alleged that Visa and Mastercard forced retailers to accept debit cards and pay the same transaction fee as they did on credit cards. A $6.2 billion settlement was reached and Visa and Mastercard were forced to mark their cards to distinguish between debit and credit cards.

Airlines: Several domestic airlines, including, American Airlines, United, Delta and Southwest were accused of conspiring to increase fares by reducing capacity on domestic flights. Southwest and American settled for $15 million and $45 million, while the others involved have not.

Microsoft: Plaintiffs accused Microsoft of engaging in unfair and anti-competitive business practices, overcharging consumers and violating antitrust laws. A settlement of more than $700 million was reached.

What industries are subject to antitrust laws?

The Lyon Firm investigates antitrust and competition claims in the following industries:

  • Agriculture
  • Media
  • Automotive
  • Health care
  • Energy
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Technology
  • Transportation
Why Hire the Lyon Firm?

The attorneys at The Lyon Firm are well-versed in investigating illegal business dealings and antitrust violations. Joe Lyon takes pride in representing victims of unfair business practices, both consumers and business owners. Call for a free and confidential consultation.

The Lyon Firm has filed an antitrust lawsuit against John Deere, which can be read about in this blog post.