France has developed something of a reputation in trying to tax larger companies on the Internet to use the funds to help out smaller players. The latest development in that scheme: a proposal to tax large booksellers to help French independent bookstores impacted by the rise of online giants like Amazon.
This is a development on a model that has seen proposals to tax online ads from the likes of Google and the revenues made from ISPs, in order to help out media companies that have been negatively impacted by the rise of digital content.
This newest tax, as described by the French daily Les Echos, would be applied not only to books sold online by companies like Amazon, but also those sold in larger physical stores, with the proceeds then going into a fund for smaller booksellers.
Amazon is not the only online bookseller in France — there are some very big local players, too, like FNAC, selling a range of goods in addition to books, just like Amazon does — but it is very popular there. France is also one of the international markets where Amazon has launched its Kindle ereader and ebooks.