France to Charge Online Book Delivery Fee to Help Bookstores Compete With Amazon

France is helping independent bookstores fight back against Amazon by charging a minimum delivery fee of 3 euros ($2.93) to any online book orders that is less than 35 euros.

France Wants to Help Independent Bookstores

The government wants to level the playing field for independent bookstores that are unable to keep up with e-commerce giants. In 2014, France tried to ban free book deliveries but Amazon and other e-commerce companies easily got around this by charging customers one cent per delivery. Local bookstores charged customers up to 7 euros for shipping books. 

This new law was passed to get rid of the loophole that companies were using to avoid the book delivery fee. Honestly, France should have thought of this harder because that is the simplest way to circumvent that law.

low angle photo of eiffel tower
France tries to help bookstores by passing delivery fee for e-commerce companies

With better wording, this new law will make it harder to Amazon and other companies to get around this law. It was originally passed in December 2021 but the law could not go into effect until the government decided what the fee would be. 

“This will adapt the book industry to the digital era by restoring an equilibrium between large e-commerce platforms, which offer virtually free delivery for books whatever the order size, and bookstores that cannot match these delivery prices,” the culture and finance ministries said in a joint statement.

A Slow Process

France plans to notify the European Commission of its minimum delivery fee and it will go into effect six months after the EU approves it. I thought Amazon updating its return policy by the end of the year was a long time. Compared to France, Amazon is much more efficient. 

Any purchases of 35 euros or more is excluded from this fee but gave vendors the power to charge a one-cent delivery fee. 


What do you think of France’s book delivery fee? Is it going to help independent bookstores or will buy less books as a result. As annoying and damaging to bookstores Amazon is, they do provide a fast service that customers love. Let us know what you think in the comments below!

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