lightspeed ecommerce

Amazon now charges a one-cent delivery fee for books in France

No, Amazon didn’t make a typographical error at its site. The American retailer is really charging its French customers for shipping at the rate of one euro cent. And it has everything to do with the ongoing feud between Amazon and the French government.

This month, the French parliament passed a law making it illegal to give a 5% discount on books and offer free shipping at the same time. They probably won’t say it out loud, but the law was directly directed towards Amazon, who came, saw and conquer when it launched its online business in the Western European country in 2000.

Originally, the law only said something about the 5% maximum discount for new books. It was meant to stop larger companies killing small independent book sellers. Amazon hurt these local shops even more by shipping books to customers for free. And that’s something the French parliament couldn’t approve of, so they changed the law.

But Amazon didn’t sit still. The online retailer responded by saying: “A new law forbids us to continue to offer you a 5% discount and free shipping on your book orders. However, you are very likely to express your wish to have access to the widest offer, quickly delivered to where you live and at the best price. We think you right.”

“This is why we decided to maintain free shipping for books shipped by Amazon for all clients subscribed to the Amazon Premium program. For our customers who didn’t subscribe to Amazon Prime, we have set the shipping costs to the minimum permitted by law, this is only 1 cent per order.”

So, basically this is Amazon not giving a rat’s ass about the new French law. We’re curious about how the French will react!