Book prices in France are hard to understand from a foreigner’s perspective. Back in 1981, French Minister of Culture Jack Lang established a fixed price for books sold in France. Since then, publishers have been fixing the price, printing it on the back of the book.
Today’s French Minister of Culture Aurélie Filippetti says that she has nothing against Amazon despite the law’s informal name — but free shipping has to stop.
With France’s ‘anti-Amazon’ law, the government is going in the opposite direction and reiterating the long-standing tradition of protecting independent bookstores and publishers.
The idea that authors write books to benefit bookstores and publishers instead of the reader is preposterous. The French government is taking a deliberate action to stop innovation, so that an 18th century business model for delivering books from authors to people could live a little bit longer.