Combining free shipping and discount disallowed in France | RetailDetail

Combining free shipping and discount disallowed in France

Combining free shipping and discount disallowed in France

Online book stores are no longer allowed to combine a discount on the fixed price with free shipping in France. French parliament has amended a national law, infuriating Amazon.

Fixed book price with maximum discount

France has the “Lang law”, referring to the former Minister of Culture, Jack Lang, which states that book publishers and importers have to give their publications a fixed price. Booksellers are then allowed to give a discount of no more than 5 percent. The law was meant to protect small retailers against the big chains.


An alteration has now taken into account the reality of increased online book sales. French parliament believed that online retailers like Amazon were not following the law by adding free shipping to the maximum discount. The combination of free shipping and the maximum 5 % discount is therefore no longer allowed.


Amazon is abhorred by the change to the law and believes this might be discrimination. “Every attempt to increase online book prices, only limits French spending power and discriminates the online consumer”, Amazon states in a response to the amendment.

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