France is considering a new fee that would impact online book orders in a bid to remain competitive. Amazon, which began as an online bookstore, has made purchasing books online quite costly, causing delays for independent bookstores. Under new guidelines, France will impose a three delivery fee for online book orders under 35, and orders over that threshold will be charged the existing 1 cent for delivery.
On the back of the French government, the following were quoted:
This will transform the book industry to the digital revolution by restoring an equilibrium between large e-commerce platforms, which provide virtually free delivery for books whatever order size, and bookstores that cannot match these delivery rates. The three euro delivery fee... is not dissuasive for book purchasers, and the 35 euro threshold will favor group orders, which is beneficial in environmental terms.
The government said that the new three delivery fee entitles users to pay taxes and circumventions, even through loyalty programs or joint purchases of books and other items. France will notify the European Commission of its plan, and the fee will come into effect six months after the European Union grants approval.
The organization that represents an independent book store in the country said the measures were inadequate, but it has asked for post office fees to be reduced for book shipments from book stores.
According to Reuters, the country has 3,300 independent book stores, but this is mainly due to online retailers such as Amazon and Fnac. Although the pricing will make book stores more relevant, the changes remain unrelated to the convenience of ordering books online and ordering them directly to your home.