France Toughens Book Pricing Rules For Amazon, Online Shops

France offers 60 Syrian refugees right to seek asylum

(AMZN) with a new law aimed at supporting bookstores and volumes that arent immediate bestsellers. Frances national assembly today unanimously approved a proposed law that blocks online stores from offering free shipping on top of a 5 percent maximum discount on books. When delivery costs are waived, they should be accounted for within the rebate limit, according to the text. Free shipping, lets say it, is a dumping strategy, Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti said during the parliamentary debate. This law, far from preventing competition or blocking technological evolution, makes sure competition is fair between players in a fragile ecosystem. Amazon has a 70 percent share of the online book market in France, said Christian Kert, one of the bills authors. Retailer Groupe Fnac (FNAC) runs its own Internet bookstore. The amendment on shipping, which will next be voted on by the senate, builds on a 1981 law singling books out as a cultural exception, deserving a distinct set of pricing rules. In France, a books price is fixed by the editor and has to be the same regardless of the distribution channel, while discounts should follow strict rules, the law says. Any measure raising the price of books on the Internet will hurt the purchasing power of French people first and foremost, and discriminate against those who make purchases online, Sophie Touchot at Havas SA, which represents Amazon in France, said in an e-mailed statement. To contact the reporter on this story: Marie Mawad in Paris at To contact the editor responsible for this story: Vidya Root at

Ranieris blend of top-class talent, experienced old heads and young potential stars has proved potent in the early stages this term. Assuming that the blend of players continues to bond well, it is difficult to see PSG getting too many chances to usurp them at the summit of Ligue 1. Here is what could happen as a result of Monaco winning their first French title since 2000 this year. Further reinforcement If Monaco were to win Ligue 1 at the first time of asking, Radamel Falcao, Joao Moutinho and James Rodriguez could prove to just be the tip of the iceberg. Immediate success on that scale would mean that Ranieris side would have Champions League football and their ability to augment their current with further stellar names would be boosted greatly. As with PSG, once they secured continental football of the highest level, they were able to lure the likes of Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Thiago Silva to France. Given that Les Monegasques already have star names of a similar calibre, they would be able to add to that collection with players of a similar skill set. Michael Regan/Getty Images Not only would that strengthen the Monaco starting line up to the point where they would no doubt be the strongest team in France, as well as one of the strongest in Europe, but the side from the Principality would also have depth. Arms race That is not to say that PSG would just lie down and accept being second best, though. In all likelihood, it would spark an arms race on a scale that we have not yet seen. Considering the money that has already been spent this summer277million of new signings alone featured in the two sides recent meeting at the Parc des Princesthe stakes would no doubt be raised higher by PSG. Laurent Blancs side would be prompted into buying new talent once again in order to usurp Monaco the following season. Some of PSGs big names would also surely have some serious reservations regarding the project. Martin Rose/Getty Images The likes of Silva, linked over the summer with a move to Barcelona ( h/t ESPN FC ), would almost certainly have his head turned enough to push for a move should PSG not finish as champions. Ibrahimovic, despite his recently inked contract ( h/t ESPN FC ), might also have some serious questions for the capital clubs hierarchy. Financial fair play Heavier financial scrutiny awaits Monaco and Dmitry Rybolovlev should Les Monegasques seal a first Ligue 1 title since 2000. For now, without European competition, they are exempt from most of the furore that surrounds the debate targeting a number of European clubs under foreign ownership. That would no longer be the case should they win the league, and they would be under more pressure than they already find themselves under with the club trying to market themselves as a luxury football club brand, according to the clubs chief marketing and sales director Bruce Bundrant ( h/t ESPN FC ). PSG are under enough scrutiny thanks to their mega sponsorship deal with the Qatar Tourism Authority from last year ( h/t ESPN FC ). But at least the side from the capitol have the fans to back up their project and can rely on regular capacity crowds.

Projecting the Impact of a Monaco Title Win in France

In a bid to end the crisis, some 50 police from the CRS anti-riot squad moved in early Friday to try and clear the refugees from the footbridge but backed off when two of them climbed on top of a nearby building and threatened to jump off if they approached. The prefect of the Pas-de-Calais region Denis Robin then went to the site and offered the Syrians, currently illegal immigrants, the right to asylum. Today, the Syrians present here are caught in a stalemate. What we can do is to offer them a status on French territoryin other words to make a request for asylum, Robin told reporters. He said each demand for asylum had 95 percent chances of success, adding that he was in contact with the British embassy in Paris. We cannot take any decision on their access to Britain, Robin said. I am not persuading them to settle in France but trying to legalise their status. French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius has pledged to fast-track the applications of Syrians seeking asylum. But the protesting refugees, most of whom arrived a month ago in Calais, have voiced disappointment at the way they were treated in France. We thought that France was the country where human rights are respected, said Tarik, a 19-year-old from the southern city of Deraa near the border with Jordan. But we live outside like dogs, hunted down by the police, we see we are not welcome, how can we seek asylum here? he said. The former engineering student said he was convinced he would find more humanity in Britain and eventually bring over his mother and younger brothers currently living in Egypt. Ali, a 38-year-old, said although French President Francois Hollande had taken a strong stand against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons, the French were not welcoming at all.