France Proposes Law Forbidding Book Discounts on Web
European governments moved closer to protect local bookstores since Amazon, the big competition, came to French market. The government force online bookstores to sell at higher prices than brick-and-mortar stores, by banning any seller from applying government-regulated discounts to the cover prices of books that are shipped to readers. Instead, sellers could only mark down the cost of shipping.
Legislation cleared the lower house would prevent online retailers from discounting books which Amazon called the bill discriminatory. Amazon denied engaging in dumping and shot back that the proposed law would hurt both consumers and small publishers. Moreover, these will lead to the higher price of books sold online that will make French people's ability to buy works of culture, and would discriminate against online consumers.
Amazon has been under particular scrutiny for a corporate structure that allows it to avoid paying corporation tax in many European countries. However, France plans to adopt new tax rules aimed at redefining where digital companies earn revenue, and regulate widely used Internet platforms, which could include Amazon.
Since 1981, laws have regulated book prices, forcing vendors to sell books at no more than 5% below the cover price, in an effort to protect independent bookstores from large chains. In 2011, the same law was extended to online sales. Bookstores in French made up more than 23% of printed-book sales in 2011. While online sales accounted for 13% of printed-book sales that year. On the other hand, Amazon itself has increased 40 percent which is around 30% of printed-book.
One of independent booksellers said that they will not wait this situation until it is getting worse. They must to do something very soon.