TL;DW: The McDonald’s corporation forces franchisees to purchase a particular model of Taylor ice cream machines. These ice cream machines are finicky, prone to error, and hard to diagnose, which makes franchisees call someone to repair them. By contract, only Taylor’s repair department is allowed to work on Taylor ice cream machines. It’s expensive. Service makes up 25% of their yearly revenue. There is a secret system to diagnose and repair these machines that most people don’t know about. Someone else made a device to attach to the machine, and an app to read what it detected, and started having some success at bypassing this slow and expensive repair process. McDonald’s told licensees that they could not use this system or they would void their warranty and breach their contract. Taylor is implementing a similar system, but which will continue to keep the franchisees dependent on them to fix the machines.
Gee… This sounds an awful lot like John Deere, huh? This is another good case study for the right to repair.
This is just another naked play to unethically and forcefully create a monopoly on some vertical slice of economic activity, which a perfectly-competitive version of capitalism would have fixed on its own. It’s what all companies strive for now.