Les Livres

Every time I get sad about the illiberal attitudes of the public sector in the UK, at least I can reassure myself that I don’t live in France.


Not really. A loss leader is not an 'artificially' low price. It's the price that the bookseller is choosing to charge in the market where they have some competition, because they want an edge. Amazon could continue selling many books below cost forever if they subsidised it with other sales (which presumably they are/were doing). If they had little to no competition, they presumably could/would charge a higher price. What the French law is basically doing is pushing up the prices of books in order to bolster the wages of those involved in selling books via traditional mechanisms: in other words, stunting progress in France by failing to recognise that many people want to buy cheap books over the internet.
I see what you mean, although the bit about loss-leaders being illegal is interesting. Wouldn't that part actually be a good thing, in terms of making the market information reflect reality more closely? In other words, aren't artificially low prices as bad as artificially high prices in the long term?