The price of books on Amazon changes to the delight of booksellers

The year 2022 could be crowned with a victory for all independent booksellers. The Amazon juggernaut will have its main competitive advantage removed in its book sales. On an advisory opinion from Arcep (the regulatory authority for electronic communications, post and press distribution), the government plans to impose a minimum delivery rate of 3 euros for customers who would go through online platforms like Amazon to buy a book.

Shipping cost

For a long time, the American e-commerce site practiced totally free prices in order to always be able to remain the cheapest of the players. Independent booksellers have suffered greatly. Only one condition, since 2014, required Amazon to charge something for small orders, but the amount was only 0.01 euro. If the law changes, then it will no longer be possible for Amazon and any online platform to charge less than 3 euros.

The end of free does not mean that the State orders to completely draw a line under it. For large orders, they will always be available. Here comes the second point of the bill. To offer free delivery, you will have to place an order for at least 35 euros.

Together with the Ministry of Culture, Arcep had already raised its opinion from 25 to 35 euros for these orders with free deliveries. A way to be sure not to leave any benefit to Amazon – a law “aimed at improving the book economy and strengthening equity between its players”, explained the senator member of the Party Les Républicains (LR), Laure Darcos. As reminded The echoesthe President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron had also expressed his ambition to redistribute the cards during his previous wishes for his re-electionin May 2021.

Also Read – The ranking of the best e-readers in 2022

As for booksellers, we would have liked even more constraints for the Seattle-based tech giant. The latter, as we could read in the opinion of Arcep, asked for a minimum additional cost of 4.5 euros for any book delivery by e-commerce platforms. Their main argument : the shipping cost would be theirs more than 7 euros. Since December 2021, the law has already been passed to remove online platforms the right to charge only 1 cent for deliveries. But the state still has to set a minimum price for the rule to change.

The role of government authorities in restoring market competition with the arrival of GAFAMs is an essential point all around the world. In the United States as in Asia, monopolies are singled out. In Washington, in the American Congress, the United States Representative David Cicilline acts as a figurehead in this fight. In Europe, the French Competition Authority was the most severe of all in 2020, with 1.8 billion euros in fines imposed on both sides. At the European Commission, the French Thierry Breton has also often been awarded.


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