Dept. of Justice sides with farmers in John Deere right to repair lawsuit

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is asking a federal district court to reject John Deere’s motion that could lead to a dismissal in its right-to-repair case.

The department recently issued a statement of interest in the case expressing concern that if the court ruled in favor of John Deere, it would violate the Sherman Antitrust Act by preventing farmers and independent repair shops from performing certain repairs on John Deere farm equipment.

The filing states that the repair restrictions could place higher costs on farmers. 

In December, Deere asked the US District Court in Northern Illinois to dismiss the case, claiming that it has neither deceived nor surprised farmers with its longstanding repair restrictions.

The DOJ says Supreme Court precedent does not support Deere’s argument, comparing it to a 1992 ruling against Kodak for restricting access to copy machine replacement parts.

Plaintiffs filed their opposition late last month and Deere’s deadline to reply is February 22.

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