French Senate limits online book discounts

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Associated Press

Posted on January 9, 2014 at 8:02 AM

Updated Thursday, Jan 9 at 12:10 PM

PARIS (AP) — In France, online retail giant Amazon and its peers must now choose between offering customers a 5-percent discount on books sold online or free delivery — but can't provide both.

In an unusual show of unity, the French Senate unanimously approved early Thursday a bill to help struggling independent book shops facing pressure from online competitors that offer lower prices. France's lower house of parliament approved the bill last fall.

Socialist Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti hailed the Senate vote as part of plans to support book shops in France — including some 11 million euros in state financial support for independent booksellers.

The legislation doesn't specifically name Amazon, but a Senate rapporteur has said the U.S.-based giant has a 70-percent share of the growing online book-sale market in France.

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