It seems that France’s Senate has recently approved of an amendment to the “Lang Law”, which so happens to be a 1981 statute that will fix the price of books, in order to prevent online booksellers from coming up with steep discounts for the consumers, or to offer free shipping of books. Both La Cinquième République and Amazon have been duking out over this particular issue for the past eight years, where a Lang Law amendment made last year stopped online discounts that go over the 5% mark as well as free shipping.
In a nutshell, with the France Senate passing this bill, it all boils down to one man – French President François Hollande to sign the bill in order to make it law. According to Minister for Culture and Communication Aurélie Filippetti, she feels that this amendment is vital in an effort to prevent small booksellers from falling prey and victim to unfair competition because of the huge discounts that online retailers are able to offer. Not only that, she felt that small booksellers do offer “access to culture”, and I will grant her that. Price regulation would also be appropriate to help authors out.
Do you agree that certain seemingly protectionist laws need to be passed, or should we let the free market decide instead?