Amazon is the biggest threat to independent booksellers and it's a huge threat. It offers deals on books the indies often can't match and usually throws in free shipping to boot. Why that should matter to all of us is that excessive domination of the market by a mega-seller reduces competition and, ultimately, choice. It's bad for readers, it's bad for booksellers and their employees and it's worse for writers.
So kudos to France for saying "non" to Amazon.
France has approved a bill to support independent bookstores against competition from online retailers.
The new laws will restrict companies like Amazon from combining offers of five percent discounts with free deliveries.
France's 3,000 independent bookshops have complained that they can't compete with the cut-price offers online.
The opposition right-wing party UMP proposed the bill, but it also has the support of the left.
It has been approved by the lower house and will now be sent to the Senate.The BBC's Paris correspondent Christian Fraser said the bill "might be seen as payback" for Amazon's practices of reporting European sales through a Luxembourg holding company, to take advantage of comparatively low corporate tax rates.
By the way, if you're looking for a deal on books and you want to support independent booksellers, try Abe Books (abebooks.com) where you can find just about any title, new or used, from booksellers around North America, Ireland and the U.K. It's a great alternative to Amazon.