QuoteNo, it's not funny, but that's because it's not a joke. The Tribunal de Grande Instance (a French appeals court) in Versailles ruled back in December that Amazon was violating the country's 1981 Lang law with its free shipping offer. That law forbids booksellers from offering discounts of more than 5 percent off the list price, and Amazon was found to be exceeding that discount when the free shipping was factored in.
QuoteFrance's main opposition party, the Parti Socialiste, has promised that, should it be elected in 2007, it will revise the law, after consulting with artists, consumers, businesses and Internet service providers. "The law is unworkable, and its problems are growing," said Anne Hidalgo, the party's national secretary for culture and the media.
QuoteFrench Prime Minister Dominic de Villepin announced this week that the government plans to provide a "good quality and good value" PC, a cheap Internet connection, training and support for $1.27 (1 euro) per day, for up to three years. The plan will work as a public-private partnership and is scheduled to begin in early 2007.