Report: Amazon Offers Ultra-Cheap Shipping in France, Circumventing No Free Shipping Law

Amazon is now offering French customers one centime ($0.014) shipping on purchased books, according to a report from English-language French website France24.

Last year, France passed what some called an “anti-Amazon” law, disallowing much discounting on books as well as free shipping on books, which some see as another form of discounting. The law went into effect this week.

Amazon has reportedly responded by offering ultra-cheap shipping, which doesn’t technically violate the law.

France24 quoted part of Amazon France’s FAQ page:

“We are unfortunately no longer allowed to offer free deliveries for book orders…. We have therefore fixed delivery costs at one centime per order containing books and dispatched by Amazon to systematically guarantee the lowest price for your book orders.”

While the French government claims the law isn’t aimed solely at Amazon, it did single out the retailer in its discourse around the issue. It also claimed the move is meant to protect France’s network of small bookshops.

One thought on “Report: Amazon Offers Ultra-Cheap Shipping in France, Circumventing No Free Shipping Law

  1. Michael W. Perry

    Politicians amaze me, whether French or American. They often do things that are of mind-boggling stupidity, as here. Amazon’s evasion should have been obvious to anyone who read the legislation. A good law would have required that retailers pass along all shipping costs.

    I suspect there’s a spin to politics, particularly the politics of large, highly regulatory government, as in France. People with good sense stay out of government, knowing just how poorly a meddlesome government works. It’s the fools, the idiots, and those who confuse symbolism with good sense who find politics attractive. They know so little, they don’t even know how stupid they are.

    There are a host of arguments for limited government, but one of the most pervasive is that big, intrusive government disproportionately attracts into politics and the bureaucracies those who think they can run a nation’s economies from their distant offices. The result is disaster often accompanied by the silliness we see in this French legislation.

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