• Thursday, October 06, 2022

France says Amazon must charge more for book deliveries

France says Amazon must charge more for book deliveries
on Dec 17, 2021
image source : https://www.courthousenews.com/

(AFP) — Amazon and other web based business locales in France should charge more for book conveyances, according to a law aimed at helping traditional bookstores survive tough online competition.

The new principles target retail monsters like Amazon, which charges the lawful least of one euro penny ($0.01) for home book conveyances, leaving French distributers and stores unable to compete.

Laure Darcos, a senator sponsoring the law, blamed Amazon for seeking after "a ruthless plan of action" that must be controlled.

In the future, book deliveries "cannot be offered free of charge" the new law says, but must carry a "minimum charge" the level of which will be set by the French government.

Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot said the law, which was backed by the National Assembly in October before winning unanimous Senate approval Thursday, will "promote fairness" in the book trade.

Amazon, which had been lobbying against the law, said the new measure would amputate the purchasing power of French consumers by an annual 250 million euros as delivery charges rise.

A spokesman said that 40 percent of Amazon's book deliveries went to French areas with no bookshops which he said was the case for "90 percent of French municipalities".

France has 3,300 independent book shops, more than most other European countries, but the bricks-and-mortar outlets suffered during Covid lockdowns that kept customers away even as the online book market flourished.

A fixed price system for books, in force since 1981, protects them from discounting by online competitors.

Banned from cutting book prices directly, internet giants like Amazon instead made home deliveries practically free, a strategy the traditional outlets with already dwindling margins were unable to match.

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