Readers flock to Amazon for its enormous selection of competitively priced print and electronic books, a fact that upsets certain French bookstores and their political allies—who have urged the French government to do something about it. The French government, in turn, has passed an “anti-Amazon” amendment. As France24 reports, the measure forbids “online giants such as Amazon, and others including French retailer FNAC, from delivering books free of charge.” The obvious intent of the measure is to cut down Amazon in order to prop up other stores.
The measure violates not only the moral rights of Amazon’s owners to operate their business according to their judgment, but also the rights of Amazon’s French customers to do business with the retailer on mutually agreed terms.
Although Amazon has not named the moral injustice involved here (as it ideally should have done), the company has responded by “complying” in a way that justly mocks the legal restrictions. As France24 reports, Amazon explained to its French customers:
We are unfortunately no longer allowed to offer free deliveries for book orders. We have therefore fixed delivery costs at one centime [a European penny] per order containing books and dispatched by Amazon to systematically guarantee the lowest price for your book orders.
Kudos to Amazon for mocking the statists and for continuing to serve its customers to the best of its ability given the confines of such immoral law. Let’s hope the day comes soon that the company includes in its reaction to such injustice a statement of its moral right to operate its business in accordance with its own judgment.