France plans to impose a minimum delivery charge of 3 euros on online book orders worth less than 35 euros to level the market for independent bookstores struggling to compete with e-commerce giants, the government said on Friday.
A 2014 French law already bans free book deliveries, but Amazon and other providers such as Fnac have circumvented this by charging just 1 euro cent per book delivery. The local bookstore fee is usually up to 7 euros.
In December 2021, legislation was passed to close the loophole, allowing one cent of courier costs through a minimum delivery fee. But the law cannot come into force until the government determines the amount of this fee.
“This will adapt the book industry to the digital age by restoring the balance between the large e-commerce platforms that offer, regardless of the size of the order, almost free shipping for books, and the bookstores that cannot match these shipping prices,” the ministries said. of Culture and Finance in a joint statement cited by Reuters.
They added that France would notify the European Commission of its plan and the minimum delivery charge would come into effect six months after the EU gave its approval.