UPPER HOUSE OF FRENCH PARLIAMENT vs AMAZON …

  I think this is an ooh la la moment. France’s ‘Senate’  – the Upper House of Parliament – is today (Wednesday, January 8, 2014) to debate a law which, if voted, will reduce the activities of the American on-line bookseller, Amazon.com, on French territory. Jealousy? At Amazon.com’s globabl success? Not quite maybe, as here […]

The cover of my new book - Bella ... A French Life

The cover of my new book – Bella … A French Life

 

I think this is an ooh la la moment.

France’s ‘Senate’  – the Upper House of Parliament – is today (Wednesday, January 8, 2014) to debate a law which, if voted, will reduce the activities of the American on-line bookseller, Amazon.com, on French territory.

Jealousy? At Amazon.com’s globabl success?

Not quite maybe, as here in France privately-owned bookshops still enjoy the largest section of the book market.

So what is it all about?

You tell me.

The French book market looks like this according to Ministry of Culture statistics from March 2013:

Privately-owned bookshops – 23%

Big retailers which specialise in the book and entertainment trade (like FNAC) – 23%

General big retailers (like Auchan or Monoprix) – 19%

Internet  – 17%

Clubs etc which are not selling on the Internet – 14%

For some time already threats have emanated from both France’s houses of parliament – the first or National Assembly, and the second, the Senate – about stopping Amazon from trading on French territory. Or, if not to stop it by banning it, to reduce its activities. Laymen refer to the threats, and indeed to the debate which is to start today, as the Anti-Amazon Law.

There is no doubt about the desired result: Amazon must stop ‘stealing’ the livelihood of French booksellers’.

At the moment a booksellers, online or not, is allowed by law to sell a book for no less than a 5% discount on the cover price. In other words, Amazon’s discounts, even free copies, are against French law. This of course makes a book something which is expensive. I must say though that I still have to hear an author here in France complain about that!

Amazon is not laying down, the arms of its executives, crossed.

No, as Amazon.fr’s chief, Romain Voog, has said, in 2012 alone the company had paid €150 million in VAT to France’s Receiver of Revenue. That is more than $204 million: to be exact at today’s exchange rate, it is the sum of 204,615,000  million United States dollars.

Mr Voog added that Amazon also employs hundreds of French citizens and has invested several million euros in the country.

What to say?

France, do get rid of the mules who govern you.

Although, I must add that in June last year (2013) Amazon.fr’s employees went on strike demanding more pay. They were paid as was reported ‘just a little more than’ the SMIC Salaire Minimum Interprofessionel de Croissance – the minimum monthly salary for 151.67 hours of work as stipulated by law. In 2013 it was €1430.22 monthly.

My book Die in Paris - the paperback

My book Die in Paris – the paperback

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

3 Responses

1-8-2014 at 14:43:49

The French Government won’t be too happy then to know that I’ve just purchased your book on Amazon.

1-8-2014 at 15:30:32

Hi Nathalie,

Ha ha!! You may be arrested by a beefy Gendarme now.

It’s rather silly, I think, for the French Gov to turn on Amazon like this.

1-10-2014 at 16:12:14

I agree, it is silly of France to turn on them like that. Yes it’s very hard on book sellers, but electronic shopping is the way of the future and one cannot stop progress.

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