Amazon strikes with low prices; the French strike back!

Just in case you had any doubts that the French were mad, here is their latest affirmation: may not offer free delivery on books in France, the high court in Versailles has ruled.

The action, brought in January 2004 by the French Booksellers' Union (Syndicat de la librairie française), accused Amazon of offering illegal discounts on books and even of selling some books below cost.


Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France.

Using "loss-leaders," or selling products below cost to attract customers, is illegal. Other restrictions apply to books retailers must not offer discounts of more than 5 percent on the publisher's recommended price.


But the free delivery offered by Amazon exceeded the legal limit in the case of cheaper books, the union charged.

The union said it was pleased with the court's ruling, which would help protect vulnerable small bookshops from predatory pricing practices.
Yes, predatory pricing practices!

In reasonable countries, if a company is able to increase the efficiency of its processes in order to provide a product at a cheaper price than other companies before it, that would be called progress. This is the sort of thing that increases people's purchasing power, which means economic growth, which is the process that makes everyone less poor in the long run.

But in France, these are predatory pricing practices, you see. Because France will have nothing to do with progress. The French invented civilization, as they see it, and they're determined to be forever stuck in the time period when they did so.


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