In an effort to level the playing field and support smaller bookstores, French lawmakers passed a bill Thursday preventing Amazon.com 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.