France approves ‘anti-Amazon’ bill

France has approved a bill to support independent bookstores against competition from online retailers.

The new laws will restrict companies like Amazon from combining offers of five percent discounts with free deliveries.

France’s 3,000 independent bookshops have complained that they can’t compete with the cut-price offers online.

The opposition right-wing party UMP proposed the bill, but it also has the support of the left.

‘Everyone has had enough of Amazon’
It has been approved by the lower house and will now be sent to the Senate.

The BBC’s Paris correspondent Christian Fraser said the bill “might be seen as payback” for Amazon’s practices of reporting European sales through a Luxembourg holding company, to take advantage of comparatively low corporate tax rates.

French Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti has criticised Amazon’s practices in the past, particularly free deliveries or its policy of “tax optimisation.”

Amazon insists the arrangement is legal under the European Union’s single market rules.

In June, Ms Filippetti said: “Today, everyone has had enough of Amazon, which, by dumping, slashes prices to get a foothold in markets only to raise them once they have established a virtual monopoly.”