In the sights of legislators are the offers practiced by e-commerce giants like Amazon, which systematically sets the shipping costs at 0.01 euros. Traditional booksellers cannot apply these benefits.
The Minister of Culture, Roselyne Bachelot, celebrated this new law that will allow, in his opinion, “strengthen equity in the book sector” in a country where culture is one of its symbols. The Senate and Parliament approved it unanimously.
Amazon assured, on the other hand, that the cost to the purchasing power of the final approval of the proposed law it would amount to “more than 250 million euros annually” (283 million dollars).
“Nowadays, 90% of the French communes do not have bookstores in their territory and more than 40% of book shipments by Amazon go to zip codes without a bookstore, “said a spokesperson for the platform.
Regarding the cost to purchasing power, one of the concerns of the French ahead of the presidential election in April, the communist senator Pierre Ouzoulias assured that the “wealthy and urban classes” are those that use Amazon.
The new legislation reinforces the Lang law of 1981 that set a single price for books, a measure that is considered vital for the diversity of this sector that has 3,300 independent bookstores, according to legislators.
Online sales sites must also identify whether they are new or second-hand books.. The new law also authorizes local authorities to subsidize independent bookstores (up to 30% of their turnover).