Oops, Free Shipping is a Crime
Amazon.com said on Monday that it would rather pay €1000 a day in fines than abolish its free shipping on books in France.
Free shipping from Amazon.fr is apparently a violation of a 1981 law that was passed to ensure the French public receives equal access to all forms of literature.
The Lang Law (81-766 August 10, 1981) says that the selling price of books must be indicated by the editor on the cover, and that any retailer is required to sell the work at a price ranging between 95% and 100% of the price indicated. This provision was intended to keep the selling price of books homogenous between points of sale, preventing discount retailers from dominating dedicated booksellers and subsequently reshaping what literature is available to the public at large.
Amazon.com has a petition on their French site. Any guess as to what most people want? Right, free shipping.