The McDonald's McFlurry machine, with its tendency to fail, has inspired many jokes and Twitter feuds. Now it could be the subject of an investigation by the Federal Trade Commission. According to The Wall Street Journal, the agency reached out to McDonald's restaurant owners recently to gather more information about their experiences with the machines.
You may be wondering why the FTC is looking into McFlurry machine sales. It may be related to the right to repair. The President Biden directed the agency to create new rules that would allow consumers and businesses to fix their devices themselves at the beginning of July. The FTC voted unanimously to remove illegal repair restrictions later in the month.
McFlurry machines can be a real pain to fix. Taylor, the company that makes the McFlurry machines, is in a legal dispute over the measures it uses to stop restaurants from fixing the machines themselves. Long wait times are common when a McFlurry machine fails. Only Taylor-certified technicians can fix it. During the pandemic, these wait times have been increasing. Recently, a federal judge sided with a company producing a diagnostic tool that could threaten Taylor's monopoly in repairs.
FTC has not yet opened formal investigations. According to The Journal, even though there is a preliminary investigation, it does not mean that the FTC or its staff has found any wrongdoing. It wants to know whether restaurant owners are allowed on their own to operate the McFlurry machines.