Those Silly French
By Arnold Kling
Retail prices, particularly of books, are tightly regulated in France.
Using “loss-leaders,” or selling products below cost to attract customers, is illegal. Other restrictions apply to books retailers must not offer discounts of more than 5 percent on the publisher’s recommended price. Many independent booksellers choose to offer this discount in the form of a loyalty bonus based on previous purchases. Larger booksellers simply slash the sticker price of books.
But the free delivery offered by Amazon exceeded the legal limit in the case of cheaper books, the union charged.
The union said it was pleased with the court’s ruling, which would help protect vulnerable small bookshops from predatory pricing practices.
A court in France ruled that free delivery of books was illegal. Obviously, this is an example of consumer-hostile regulation. A classic case of rent-seeking. Those silly French.
We can laugh, because nothing like that ever happens in the this country. No rent-seeking here. Nothing to see. Move along.