amazonlogo11In an effort to level the playing field and support smaller bookstores, French lawmakers passed a bill Thursday preventing and other online retailers from offering free shipping on discounted books.

Opposing parties joined together to unanimously amend a 22-year-old French law that allows retailers to discount new books by up to five percent off the price set by a publisher.

Independent bookstores had raised concerned over Amazon and others offering the five percent discount in combination with free shipping. Now, though, online retailers will no longer be able to offer free shipping on new books sold in addition to the five-percent discount. The amendment does not affect used books and music.

France culture minister Aurelie Filippetti hinted that the country wanted to amend the law back in June, but was looking for the “right time,” which appears to be now.

Hat tip Engadget

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  • Jeff Erwin

    The entire French government needs to read Atlas Shrugged.

  • Russ Roberts

    Blaming “austerity” for lack of growth is a red herring. Laws like these that restrict growth, competition, and employment are the real culprit.

    Classic example of picking winners and losers too. Losers aren’t just companies like Amazon, it’s the French public that could buy and read MORE books if they were allowed to pay less money for them and get them in a more convenient way.

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