French lawmakers approve anti-Amazon book bill
PARIS - Agence France-Presse
This undated photo provided by Amazon shows Amazon's new kindle fire HDX tablet. AP photoFrench lawmakers on Thursday unanimously approved a bill aimed at supporting small bookstores struggling against giant online retailers such as Amazon.
The bill aims to restrict the likes of Amazon from combining free delivery with discounts of up to five percent on books, which is allowed under existing French legislation.
The bill is expected to be adopted by France's lower house National Assembly later Thursday, lawmakers said.
Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti has criticised Amazon's practices in the past, blasting free deliveries or the firm's policy of "tax optimisation." The American giant reports its European sales through a Luxembourg-based holding company, taking advantage of the tiny Duchy's relatively low corporation tax rates for earnings outside its borders.
Amazon insists the arrangement, which has been criticised by politicians across Europe, is legal under the European Union's single market rules.
"Today, everyone has had enough of Amazon, which, by dumping, slashes prices to get a foothold in markets only to raise them once they have established a virtual monopoly," Filippetti said in June.
The French government has recently been at loggerheads with a number of American companies including Google, Yahoo! and Apple.
Last week, for instance, the country's data protection watchdog announced it would take action against Google for failing to comply with national privacy guidelines -- a process that could see the US giant fined 150,000 euros ($204,000).