The American retailer Amazon had to bow to a new law and began charging shipping .
A new French law, which went into effect Thursday morning, forbids online retailers to apply the 5% discount allowed by the government and offer shipping. This law, unofficially labeled “The anti-Amazon law” is aimed at protecting local bookstores from unfair competition.
Under the new law, online booksellers won’t be able to apply government-regulated discounts to cover prices of books, and free shipping of books. Amazon already found a parade. His premium membership is not concerned by this law, and the shipping fees will continue to be free. For the other customers, the shipping fee rise from free to 1 cent.
For instance, a book tagged by the editor at 20€ would have been sold by Amazon at the price of 19€, shipping included. From now on, this book will be sold 20,01€.
This law is the last effort of the French government to protect the 2500 independents bookstore located on its territory against the growing power of the American giants. The French government said last month that it aims to propose new regulations at a European level to ensure a “level playing field” for European companies against U.S. firms.
In the end, this new law might be harmless to the online customer, and is already defused and neutralized by Amazon. Governments attempts to balance the relation between local stores and big companies like Amazon seems to be ineffective.
A report from February published by Xerfi, La Distribution de livres face aux enjeux du numérique , estimated that Amazon would become France’s largest bookseller by 2017, while independent bookstores would see their share of the slowly shrinking book market drop below 40%.
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