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Thursday, October 03, 2013 11:12 PM

France Vows to "Save the Bookstores", Fixes Price of Books, Bans Free Shipping by Amazon

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In yet another act of economic stupidity, France targets Amazon to protect bookshops.

France’s parliament has passed a law preventing internet booksellers from offering free delivery to customers, in an attempt to protect the country’s struggling bookshops from the growing dominance of US online retailer Amazon.

On Thursday, Aurélie Filippetti, the culture minister who originally proposed the move, denounced Amazon for its alleged “strategy of dumping”, claiming that the company used offers of free delivery to get around French laws controlling the price of books.

The socialist government of President François Hollande is lobbying the EU to regulate online platforms and applications and is pushing for international agreement on taxing internet companies such as Google, Facebook and Amazon in the countries where customers use their websites.

Defending France’s cultural assets against the perceived threat from US products and companies has strong cross-party support. All main parties supported the new law, which will be added to 1981 legislation that allows a maximum 5 per cent discount on the centrally-fixed single price for books.
What is with these economic morons? Not only do they fix the price of books, they fix the price of shipping them.

Worse yet, France is pushing for an international tax on Google, Facebook and Amazon in the countries where customers use their websites.

Good grief. No one benefits from such stupidity except a handful of inefficient bookstore owners. Everyone else loses. 

These fools are likely to tax the sun for providing free sunlight.

Actually, I am surprised Spain beat France to that idea. For details, please see Spain Levies Consumption Tax on Sunlight.

Had these fools been in charge, they would have protected the buggy whip manufacturers against unfair competition by Henry Ford and the auto industry.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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