France opens new front in war with Internet giants

June 4, 2013
French Minister for Culture and Communication Aurelie Filippetti arrives at the Rond-Point theatre in Paris on June 3, 2013. Filippetti has branded online retailer Amazon a "destroyer" of bookshops in the latest confrontation between the Socialist government in Paris and America's giants of the digital economy.

France's culture minister has branded online retailer Amazon a "destroyer" of bookshops in the latest confrontation between the Socialist government in Paris and America's giants of the digital economy.

"Today, everyone has had enough of Amazon, which, by dumping, slashes prices to get a foothold in markets only to raise them once they have established a virtual monopoly," Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said.

"It is destructive for bookshops," the minister told a conference of booksellers Monday in the southwestern city of Bordeaux.

Filippetti said that she would be examining measures that could curb Amazon's growth in France by restricting the American giant's ability to combine offers of free deliveries with discounts of up to five percent on cover prices, which is the maximum allowed in France under existing legislation designed to protect small booksellers.

The attack on Amazon is the latest in a series of disputes between the French government and American companies including , Yahoo! and Apple.

French authorities are already embroiled in a dispute with Amazon over a $252 million tax bill related to the company's sales in France between 2006 and 2010.

The dispute arose because of Amazon's practice of reporting European sales through a Luxembourg-based holding company, taking advantage of the tiny Duchy's relatively low corporation tax rates for earnings outside its borders.

Amazon insists the arrangement, which has been criticised by politicians across Europe, is legal under the European Union's single market rules.

Industrial Renewal Minister Arnaud Montebourg last month also infuriated Yahoo! by placing a series of conditions on its proposed takeover of French video-sharing site Dailymotion, causing the deal to collapse.

France is meanwhile at with Google over privacy issues and over demands that it pass on part of its advertising revenues to newspapers and other content providers that the search engine links to.

The Paris government has also clashed with Apple and other hi-tech manufacturers over proposals to tax smartphones and tablets to fund French-language creative and artistic projects.

Explore further: French authorities probe Google's tax bill

Related Stories

French authorities probe Google's tax bill

March 20, 2012

French authorities are probing Google for potential tax avoidance, a source close to the matter said Tuesday, with the US Internet giant facing a possible bill of over 100 million euros ($132 million).

Amazon gets $252 mn tax bill from France

November 13, 2012

France has demanded $252 million in back taxes from Amazon, it emerged on Tuesday, increasing the pressure on the online retailer over its controversial corporate structure in Europe.

Dailymotion looks ahead despite scuppered Yahoo! deal

May 3, 2013

The head of Dailymotion, the video-sharing site at the centre of an uproar after the French state blocked its sale to Yahoo!, said in an interview published Friday there was still a lot of interest abroad for his firm.

Recommended for you

Drone market to hit $10 billion by 2024: experts

October 3, 2015

The market for military drones is expected to almost double by 2024 to beyond $10 billion (8.9 billion euros), according to a report published Friday by specialist defence publication IHS Jane's Intelligence Review.

Radio frequency 'harvesting' tech unveiled in UK

September 30, 2015

An energy harvesting technology that its developers say will be able to turn ambient radio frequency waves into usable electricity to charge low power devices was unveiled in London on Wednesday.

Professors say US has fallen behind on offshore wind power

September 29, 2015

University of Delaware faculty from the College of Earth, Ocean, and Environment (CEOE), the College of Engineering and the Alfred Lerner School of Business and Economics say that the U.S. has fallen behind in offshore wind ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.