France passes legislation to restrain Amazon and save local book stores

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As local businesses continue to struggle against online retailers, a new piece of French legislation could give local bookstores a fighting chance against their internet-based competitors.

The new law, drafted by French Sen. Laure Darcos, would require local bookstores and online retailers such as Amazon to set a minimum price for book deliveries. As most local bookstores typically charge 5-7 euros ($5.82-$8.15) for shipping a book, the law would force online retailers to charge an equal amount, according to Reuters.

"This law is necessary to regulate the distorted competition within online book sales and prevent the inevitable monopoly that will emerge if the status quo persists," the Ministry of Culture told the outlet.

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The law does not list Amazon by name but would affect all online retailers that sell books. French law already prohibits books from being delivered for free, and online retailers are also forbidden from offering price discounts on new books in the country, according to the outlet.

Amazon has spoken out against the legislation, as a minimum shipping cost for books would "weigh on the purchasing power of consumers." The online retailer lobbied hard against the legislation, worried it might set a precedent for the future, the outlet reported.

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The new legislation was adopted by Parliament but is not yet enacted. When asked when the effects of the law would begin, the Ministry of Culture declined to give a start date, saying it was too early to say, according to the outlet.

Amazon did not immediately respond to the Washington Examiner's request for comment.

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Tags: News, France, Amazon, Shipping, Books

Original Author: Asher Notheis

Original Location: France passes legislation to restrain Amazon and save local book stores

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