Amazon calls French law on online book selling 'discrimination'

PARIS, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- U .S. online retailer Amazon says proposed French laws supporting independent bookstores against competition from Web-based retailers is "discrimination."

Under the proposed French legislation, companies such as Amazon are restricted from offering combined 5 percent price reductions and free deliveries.


Amazon, in a statement, said the laws would constitute "discrimination against online consumers" and would "reduce French people's spending power."

The new law -- which has been approved by the lower House and will now be sent to the French Senate -- came after thousands of independent bookshops in France complained they couldn't compete with cut-price offers online from giant companies such as Amazon.

The new law joins other efforts to protect French culture such as subsidies, quotas and tax breaks that support French films, television and music.

A bookseller at one Paris bookshop said the new law was "very much" in line with those other, similar policies.

"It doesn't seem to be discriminatory," Terry Craven at the Shakespeare and Company Bookstore told the BBC. "Amazon has certain ways of looking at the free market which is simply not one that the French state takes."


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