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The Independent Automotive Aftermarket Federation

FIGIEFA welcomes Biden's Executive Order on Promoting Competition

Date: Thursday 15 July 2021

On the 9th of July, US President Joe Biden released an Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy. This order could eventually have implications for the automotive aftermarket.

The Executive Order states that,

“it is the policy of my Administration 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 [...] repair markets”. It invites in particular the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), an independent institution in charge of consumers and competition, to work on “unfair anticompetitive restrictions on third-party repair or self-repair of items, such as the restrictions imposed by powerful manufacturers that prevent farmers from repairing their own equipment”.

This order is an important and welcome political move, as it highlights some of the important issues that our sector is facing. However, at this stage it remains quite “high-level”, in the sense that it gives objectives, but doesn’t provide implementation measures. Those will have to be drawn up and proposed by the various US departments and administrations over the coming months.

FIGIEFA's American sister association, AutoCare, is in contact with the FTC to ensure that the automotive aftermarket, which is currently not mentioned in the executive order, can also benefit from improved competition measures.

FIGIEFA is liaising with AutoCare, bilaterally and within the R2R Global forum, on the future developments of this order, and we will keep you informed accordingly.

The recommendations made to the FTC by the US aftermarket trade groups included: