A repeater fields top level field needs to be unique. Sub fields of a repeater need to be unique within each repeater. For example you can have 2 sub fields named “repeater_1” and “repeater_2” and both of these repeaters can have a sub field named “sub_field”.
The field key is ACF’s internal reference to that specific field, no matter where that field is used. There must be a unique field key for every field created. Logically, if you have the same field key for 2 fields, as long as they are never used on the same WP object you would be okay, but I would not suggest it. It is too easy down the road to alter where the field is shown and then you could have a serious issue. ACF (internally) uses the field key, not the field name, to insure that it’s looking for the right field value.
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