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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/7661/french-government-protects-readers-from-amazon-free-shipping/

French government protects readers from Amazon free shipping

January 16, 2008 by

Another government interferes with the operation of the market, this time for the purpose of “rescuing” customers and restoring high-overhead, Mère-et-Père (French for “money pit”) bookstores to their rightful place of prominence in the French book market. In this case, the threat came in the form of dangerously inexpensive books from Amazon.

Now, if the French regulators get their way, those French bargain seekers are going to have to pay for their books like every other respectable Frenchman–par le nez.

(Thanks to Eric Garris.)

{ 13 comments }

Bryan January 16, 2008 at 8:39 pm

Outlaw the light bulb so that the candlemakers don’t go out of business!

Manuel Lora January 16, 2008 at 9:56 pm

Economic stupidity: billions and billions served.

Jim Fedako January 16, 2008 at 10:51 pm

What about those appliance stores that keep threatening me with free delivery?

IIMHO January 17, 2008 at 12:42 am

This really ticks me off. When the dot com boom went bust, nobody that I know of jumped in to save Amazon. Everyone expected them to go under, but they were persistent and it paid off.

I say let the booksellers take their chances just as Amazon did.

George Gaskell January 17, 2008 at 8:44 am

What about those appliance stores that keep threatening me with free delivery?

They’re not just threatening you, mon frère. They’re threatening civilization itself.

Mike January 17, 2008 at 10:03 am

Once, in my naivety, I bought a cheap book from Amazon and had it delivered for free with some other items. The harm it caused is still with me; terror fills my bones just thinking about it. Thank goodness some people are trying to put an end to the madness.

Michael G.R. January 17, 2008 at 3:25 pm

At least it seems like consumers are reacting. I heard about a 120,000 name petition (and growing) and that Amazon.fr would keep its free shipping by paying the penalty fee.

lester January 17, 2008 at 4:16 pm

just turn the bookstores into landmarks and subsidize them. they exist only for the tourists anyway as part of the postacrd france image

Mathieu Bédard January 18, 2008 at 6:01 am

It’s not really the government’s doing, it’s a judge applying a 1981 law in a way it was never designed to be. But I agree with the general message. I guess this is part of the French government’s law on low prices…

lester January 18, 2008 at 9:33 am

france is the worlds number one tourist destination. they should just do what the bahamas does. charge a little more for everything and don’t have income tax.

Artisan January 18, 2008 at 2:56 pm

The French are nostalgic people. They mourn the old tradition of busy village life with nice little stores which has vanished 30 years age.
In many small rural French towns dying off, the mayor uses local tax money to finance a deli store, offering some conveniences to the last old people still living around…
The recruited shopkeeper will be put under pressure not to make prices too high of course (no written rules though)… so he will most certainly quit after a few years of this hopeless socialist life, then the next guy will come.
It often makes you want to cry when you go in there…

nick gray January 22, 2008 at 5:50 pm

Go, Sarkozy! I was just reading in today’s ‘Australian’ about how he plans to deregulate the French economy. Boy, does it need it! I thought their main problem was the 35 hour week. I had no idea that it was so heavily cartelized or monopolised! The unions have heard about this, and don’t like his attempt to turn it into an Anglo-Saxon Capitalist economy. And the French wonder why their productive people are moving to London! Oh well, Say ‘Legair’.

Inquisitor January 22, 2008 at 8:38 pm

I question Sarkozy’s credentials, especially given the profit-”sharing” scheme he recently proposed.

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