French lawmakers adopted a bill on Thursday that will prevent Amazon and other online giants from offering free deliveries of discounted books, in a bid to support the country’s small bookshops.
The Senate gave its approval for the bill, which had already been unanimously backed in the lower house National Assembly, and it is expected to be signed into law by President Francois Hollande within the next two weeks.
The bill bans online giants such as Amazon from delivering books without charge, but still allows them to set discounts of up to five percent, the maximum allowed under existing French legislation.
In 1981 the government ruled that publishers must set a standard selling price for their books in a bid to protect small retailers and set a limit of five percent on any discount.
Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti welcomed the parliamentary approval, saying it showed “the nation’s deep attachment to books.”
While the measure adopted on Thursday is not specifically aimed at Amazon, Filippetti has singled out the US giant’s practices in the past, attacking both free deliveries and the firm’s tax arrangements.
The online retailer reports its European sales through a Luxembourg-based holding company, taking advantage of the duchy’s relatively low corporate 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.
Filippetti has also attacked 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 last year.
France is proud of a network of bookstores it says is “unique in the world” and crucial for culture to reach small towns.
The country has about 3,500 such stores — including 600 to 800 so-called independent retailers that do not belong to a publishing house, a chain or a supermarket — compared to just 1,000 in Britain.
Kim Jong-un threatens to restart nuke tests as Trump’s efforts to talk to the regime fall apart again: report
On Tuesday, CNN's Brian Todd reported that the North Korean regime is on the brink of rescinding what little they promised President Donald Trump, as the future of his efforts to continue talks appear uncertain.
"Kim Jong-un's regime is once again in negotiation by intimidation," said Todd. "Just two weeks after their historic meeting at the DMZ, and President Trump's short stroll into North Korea, North Korea's dictator Kim Jong-un appears to be threatening to start testing his nuclear weapons again. In a new statement, Kim's foreign ministry calls the joint U.S./South Korean military exercises planned for next month a breach of the main spirit of what President Trump and Kim agreed to in Singapore, and says, 'We are gradually losing our justifications to follow through on the commitments we made with the U.S."
Republican freaks out after Democrat quotes Trump’s racist statement on the floor of Congress
Chaos continued on the floor of the House of Representatives during the debate on a resolution condemning President Donald Trump's racist attacks on four young women of color.
Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-CA) rose to support the resolution, listing multiple instances of racism from the commander-in-chief.
As part of the list, Swalwell noted Trump's attacks on "sh*thole countries."
After he swore on the floor by quoting the president, Republicans freaked out.
Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA) complained and got in a back-and-forth with Swalwell.
Collins sought to have Swalwell's words stricken from the Congressional Record, which would have banned him from speaking for the rest of the day.
Appeals court delivers ‘tremendous blow to federal workers’ with decision to uphold Trump’s anti-union executive orders
"There must be a check on the president's power to destroy federal employees' union rights."
Unions representing hundreds of thousands of federal employees on Tuesday vowed to fight a federal appeals court ruling in which a three-judge panel unanimously upheld President Donald Trump's executive orders attacking workers' rights.
The U.S. Court of Appeals in the D.C. Circuit said that it lacked jurisdiction to block Trump's orders, which made it easier to fire federal employees, limited the amount of time workers can spend on union business, and compelled federal agencies to devise unfavorable contracts with unions.