Cold competition: Federal agencies want to help McDonald’s fix ice cream machines with antitrust exemption

The Biden administration is seeking exemptions to antitrust laws that would make it easier to repair ice cream machines at McDonald’s and other chain restaurants.

McDonald’s has become the butt of many an internet joke regarding the frequent inoperability of its ice cream machines. Currently, only technicians certified by the machine manufacturers are allowed to repair the machines, pursuant to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

The Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice’s antitrust division wrote a letter to the U.S. Copyright Office this past week, calling for DMCA exemptions for “commercial soft serve machines” used at McDonald’s and other restaurants, according to Fox News Business.

“In the Agencies’ view, renewing and expanding repair-related exemptions would promote competition in markets for replacement parts, repair, and maintenance services, as well as facilitate competition in markets for repairable products,” the
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