Of the hundred of things Paris is famous for, the thousands of independent bookstores, cafes and grocers that dot the corners of it arrondissements contribute to the City of Light’s overall sense of enlightenment and culture. And regulators are going to keep it that way, whether they have to fight Amazon on it or not.
The Local is reporting that various Paris government officials have voiced their intentions to stymie Amazon’s newly expanded on-demand grocery delivery service for the protection of the independent stores that make up the city. Until recently, Amazon only accepted orders for same-day grocery deliveries before 2 p.m., and the danger this poses to the independent shops that contribute to the unique vibe Paris is known for is evidently too grave for officials to sit idly by.
The unnamed authorities did not specify what laws or tools they would use to restrict Amazon’s operations, though some officials contended that existing laws governing the creation of new supermarkets within Paris limits could be applied to Amazon’s distribution center current operating in the 18th arrondissement to the north. If Paris officials succeed in categorizing the fulfillment center for all intents and purposes as a functional grocery store, it could open up a new phase of legal discussions around the status of Amazon’s global supply chain and the countless employees contained within.
The Local also noted that this is far from the first time Paris’ culture of protectionism has butted heads with Amazon’s culture of rapid expansionism. 2013 saw then-Culture Minister Aurelie Filippetti call Amazon seeking only “a virtual monopoly” and that it was “destructive for bookshops.”
Round two should be even more entertaining.