France to Illegalize Free Shipping - The UpStream

France to Illegalize Free Shipping

posted Saturday Oct 5, 2013 by Scott Ertz

France to Illegalize Free Shipping

France has a difficult relationship with reality. They have, in the past done crazy things like prevent Yahoo from purchasing Dailymotion because the government didn't want it sold to an American company, and then they go and do rational things, like challenging Google over its universal privacy policy. Defending them or being mad at them is definitely a moving target.

Recently they have moved more to the dark side, however, with a new bill that would ban free shipping. Yes, you read that right - a retailer would no longer be able to set the price of its own products and services as they see fit. Shutting down the free market has always worked well in the past, especially for the target market that is trying to gain the upper hand, and if you can't sense the sarcasm in that statement, it might be time to move to the next article.

Who is France trying to help, and who are they trying to hurt, with this new law? They are trying to hurt Amazon and help local bookstores. Brick and mortar stores believe that they have no way of competing with online pricing and, therefore, are unable to provide any value to their customers, since price is the only reason anyone ever shops anywhere (sarcasm again). So, teaming up with the government to essentially outlaw Amazon's business model makes perfect sense, if you know nothing about business.

In the States, there are physical bookstores in a lot of places. While Borders might not have succeeded, local and chain stores everywhere do. Why? Not because they offer lower prices than Amazon, but instead because they offer better SERVICE than Amazon.

So, why not offer personal service to your customers instead of attacking Amazon? When the government already dislikes your foe, it is easier to team up than to have a good business model. Amazon reports its European income through Luxembourg, because tax rates are lower, so France sees none of the money from their own currency. Again, rather than encourage sales in the country with tax incentives, they will just remove a large company from doing business there at all.

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