the government will force Amazon and Fnac to charge more

The government has decided for a minimum of 3 euros in shipping costs on books purchased online for less than 35 euros in purchases and 1 cent. Booksellers wanted a minimum of 4.50 euros.

The government has chosen a middle way between the giants of online commerce and booksellers on the issue of minimum postage applicable to books, we learned Thursday from the Ministry of Culture.

These shipping costs can no longer be zero since a 2014 law, but Amazon and Fnac systematically set them at 0.01 euro.

A law adopted in December 2021 aimed to raise the floor price, in order to encourage consumers to go to bookstores rather than order online. The legislator has left it to the executive to set the amounts.

The postal regulator, Arcep, recommended 3 euros when launching a public consultation on the subject.

This is the amount retained by the Ministry of Culture for orders of up to 35 euros, the minister’s office told AFP. Beyond 35 euros, the ministry decided the status quo, with a floor of 0.01 euro.

The booksellers wanted 4.50 euros

The government’s decision still has to be sent to the European Commission, which will issue an opinion before the law can come into force.

During Arcep’s public consultation, Amazon said it was in favor of an amount of 1.49 euros, i.e. the “books and brochures” price for a book between 250 and 500 grams to the European Union, the United Kingdom or Switzerland.

Booksellers pleaded against what they called “virtually free”, advocating a minimum of 4.50 euros, or even more.

On the book market, France stands out by having been the first country in the world, in 1981, to pass a law imposing a single price on new books, among other measures to ensure the sustainability of bookstores.

According to the Syndicat de la Librairie Française, this has made it possible to maintain one of the densest networks of independent bookstores in the world, with 3,500 of them selling “almost one in two books”.

The article is in French

Tags: government force Amazon Fnac charge

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