French lawmakers vote to curb Amazon free deliveries

Oct 03, 2013
An employee works at the site of the online retailer Amazon on December 13, 2012 in Chalon-sur-Saone, France

French lawmakers on Thursday approved a bill that will prevent Amazon from offering free deliveries of discounted books.

The bill, designed to support small bookstores struggling in the face of giant online retailers, was backed unanimously in the lower house National Assembly.

It will seek to restrict the likes of Amazon from combining free delivery with discounts of up to five percent on , the maximum allowed under existing French legislation.

In 1981, the government ruled that editors must set a unique selling price for their books in a bid to protect small retailers, but added that stores could apply a discount of up to five percent.

The bill will now move to the upper house Senate for consideration.

While the measure is not specifically aimed at Amazon but at all retailers dispatching books by post, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti has singled out the US giant's practices in the past, blasting both free deliveries and the firm's tax arrangements.

The reports its 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.

During the parliamentary debate preceding the vote Thursday, Filippetti blasted Amazon for its "dumping strategy" and for selling books at a loss.

"Once they are in a dominant position and will have crushed our network of bookshops, they will bring prices back up," she said.

The French government has recently been at loggerheads with a number of American companies including Google, Yahoo! and Apple.

Last week, for instance, the country's data protection watchdog announced it would take action against Google for failing to comply with national privacy guidelines—a process that could see the US giant fined 150,000 euros ($204,000).

Explore further: News Corp. invests in India real estate website

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

France opens new front in war with Internet giants

Jun 04, 2013

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.

Amazon gets $252 mn tax bill from France

Nov 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.

Fresh anger over Amazon's UK tax bill

May 15, 2013

Internet giant Amazon on Wednesday came under fresh fire over its British tax status after official figures revealed it only paid £2.4 million ($3.6 million, 2.8 million euros)on UK sales of £4.2 billion ...

Amazon launches online shopping site in India

Jun 05, 2013

Online retail giant Amazon launched a new Internet shopping site in India on Wednesday, stoking already fierce competition in the fast-expanding "e-tailing" market.

Amazon expands network to Spain

Sep 14, 2011

Amazon expanded its European network to Spain on Wednesday, with a new site amazon.es opened to online shoppers.

Recommended for you

BlackBerry courts iPhone users with cash

6 hours ago

Canadian smartphone maker BlackBerry is wooing Apple customers with a cash offer for trade-ins of iPhones for its new square-screened, keyboard-equipped Passport.

HP earnings show continued struggle

7 hours ago

Venerable tech giant Hewlett-Packard has been struggling for three years to turn its business around. Its latest earnings show it still has more work ahead.

Apple market value hits $700 bn

13 hours ago

A rise in Apple shares Tuesday pushed the market value of the trend-setting US tech icon above $700 billion, becoming the first company to hit that milestone.

User comments : 0

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.