French Senate wants ban on free book delivery

Jan 09, 2014 by Jamey Keaten

If the French Senate gets its way, retail giant Amazon and its online peers won't be able to offer free book deliveries in France anymore.

In an unusual show of unity Thursday, the upper house of parliament unanimously approved a bill that would amend a 33-year-old law regulating book prices, and help struggling independent book sellers, which have faced tough competition from cost-cutting online vendors in the digital age.

In essence, the Senate proposal would strip some of the convenience and financial advantage of home or office delivery of books ordered online. Ultimately, if approved, the legislation could weigh on the minds of customers when they decide whether to trek over to mom-and-pop bookshops instead of shopping online.

The bill would allow online vendors like U.S.-based Amazon to cut the regular delivery price by up to 5 percent—but not provide free delivery. It differs slightly from a bill passed in the National Assembly, parliament's lower house, in October, which said nothing about barring free delivery.

Amazon.fr systematically offers both a 5 percent discount on books, and free delivery.

Amazon declined to comment. A company spokeswoman in France referred only to a previous statement following the Assembly vote that said "all measures aiming to raise the book price on the Internet will first penalize French consumers and lower their purchasing power."

Socialist Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti hailed the Senate vote as part of a strategy to support book shops in France—including some 11 million euros ($15 million) in state support for independent booksellers.

The legislation doesn't specifically name Amazon. But in a Senate hearing last month, Sen. Bariza Khiari, a Socialist rapporteur on the issue, said the company has a 70 percent share of the growing online book-sale market in France—while in-store book sales fell 10 percent in November compared to in 2012.

The two houses are now to work out final language for the bill.

Explore further: French lawmakers vote to curb Amazon free deliveries

1 /5 (1 vote)
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.

World's biggest book fair targets internet giants

Oct 08, 2013

Organisers of the world's biggest book fair in Germany warned Tuesday against the domination of Internet giants as the publishing world grapples to blend old and new forms of reading.

First cannabis-derived drug authorised for France

Jan 09, 2014

France has for the first time approved prescription use of a drug derived from cannabis—a mouth spray used to treat multiple sclerosis (MS) symptoms, the government said Thursday.

Recommended for you

Nokia profits rise after sale of handset division

38 minutes ago

(AP)—Telecommunications and wireless equipment maker Nokia Corp. saw its shares surge on Thursday after it reported higher profits and an improved earnings outlook in the wake of its sale to Microsoft of its troubled handset ...

Swiss drug maker Roche posts 7 percent profit drop

3 hours ago

(AP)—Swiss drugmaker Roche Holding AG on Thursday posted a net profit drop of 7 percent compared with a year ago, weighed down by a strong Swiss franc and charges from one of its diagnostic units.

Cheaper wireless plans cut into AT&T 2Q profit

14 hours ago

(AP)—AT&T Inc. on Wednesday posted lower net income for the latest quarter due to cheaper cellphone plans it introduced as a response to aggressive pricing from smaller competitor T-Mobile US.

Facebook 2Q earnings, revenue soar (Update)

14 hours ago

(AP)—Facebook is on a roll. The world's largest online social network posted sharply higher earnings on Wednesday as revenue from mobile advertising continued to grow, and more people used it, more often.

Android grabs more tablet market share

16 hours ago

Global sales of tablet computers edged higher in the second quarter, in the slowest growth since 2009, research firm Strategy Analytics said Wednesday.

User comments : 0