Ms.Filippetti accused the online selling giant of having a “dumping strategy” and selling its books at a loss.
7th October 2013
France has approved a law that will prevent online book retailers, including Amazon, offering free deliveries of discounted books, in a bid to protect the country’s struggling traditional bookshops. Aurelie Filippetti, the cultural minister of France who proposed the move denounced Amazon for its alleged “strategy of dumping”, saying the company used offers of free delivery to get around French laws that control the price of books. The minister condemned the e-commerce pioneer’s strategy during the debate in the National Assembly, she said “Once they are in a dominant position and have wiped out our network of bookshops, it is a strong bet that they will raise their delivery charges.” she said. In the debate, Ms.Filippetti accused the online selling giant of having a “dumping strategy” and selling its books at a loss.
The law restricts online and postal delivery firms from combining free delivery with offering discount up to 5 percent on books, the maximum allowed under French laws. The bill will now move up to the upper house Senate for consideration. Amazon, in its defence said the arrangement, which has been criticized by politicians across Europe, is legal under the European Union’s single market rules. The French government is vociferously defending its cultural assets against perceived threat from American companies, and has strong cross party support – in a rare display of unity all the parties supported the new law which will be added to the 1981 legislation that allows a maximum of 5 percent discount on the centrally fixed single price for books.
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Reuters, reported that France’s finance ministry is investigating Apple’s iPhone carrier contracts, the enquiry will look at all aspects of how Apple’s mobile hardware is sold in France, including the agreements mobile phone operators make to market Apple devices – which involves costly advertising campaigns for its handsets. The administrative body that falls under the French finance ministry will look at Apple’s relationship with mobile phone carriers, many of whom have restrictive contracts that some European telecom executives say can oblige them to buy large volumes of phones and dictate marketing budgets.
In a time where corruption and red tapism can trump over nation’s interests and pro-people policies, French parliamentarians are a notable exception to the rule, by uniting together and passing an ordinance against online book sellers they have shown that the country’s culture and tradition cannot be sacrificed for corporate tax revenues and other benefits. The punitive measures by the French government need to be applauded and other countries should follow suit by taking stringent action against such corporates whose technological prowess will be against national interests.