Amazon Takes Away All Discounts In France Under New Law, Charges A Penny For Shipping

Book lovers looking for a tidy discount in France won’t be finding anything of the sort, at least not from Amazon: In accordance with a new law in that country, the e-commerce Goliath has ditched all discounts and is charging a penny for shipping, because it’s not allowed to send books for free.

Because the many now see free shipping as our right as humans, the one-cent fee is just a token gesture, notes the Wall Street Journal.

The new French law went into effect yesterday morning, and is designed to keep local bookstores from going under as they face what French lawmakers call “unfair competition” from Amazon. It prohibits any online booksellers from adding discounts to the cover prices of books, and can mark down shipping sharply, but offering it for free isn’t allowed.

Amazon sounds bummed about this whole thing.

“We’re sadly no longer authorized to offer you a 5% discount on books,” Amazon said in a note on its French website, according to the WSJ.

And then there are those local bookstores, which are pretty much pleased as punch at this turn of events.

“Publishers and bookstores are organizing against the unacceptable commercial pressure exercised by Amazon,” France’s main bookstore association said in a statement. “We have repeatedly denounced the ‘dumping’ and unfair competition by online retailers, particularly Amazon.”

Amazon Shelves French Book Discounts [Wall Street Journal]

Read Comments2

Edit Your Comment

  1. restofgod says:

    I never understood why we need cover prices of books (or MSRP for cars or other items). Why not just let the market decide what price to charge based on the cost, their overhead, and what the market will pay? Sure it means you get dealers competing on price, but i guess that means you are giving too much power to the consumer.

  2. illusio26 says:

    What a load of crap. This sounds like something out of Atlas Shrugged. Maybe the local stores need to adapt to stay competitive rather than having the government punish someone doing it right.