Amazon EU woes: Fois Gras, Books and Strikes

Amazon FeatAmazon are having a bit of a hard time in Europe at the moment. They’ve just banned the sale of Fois Gras on Amazon UK to keep the animal rights campaigners at bay. There’s no news on if they’ll stop selling Fois Gras in France (it’s illegal to produce foie gras in the UK but it’s not against the law to sell imported products such as French product).

However Amazon have another pressing problem in France – lawmakers have stepped up legislation to make it illegal to discount books beyond the maximum 5% and at the same time then offer free shipping. The French have the maximum 5% discount to protect bookshops, but of course if you’ve paid for Amazon Prime then you expect free shipping. The change really spells the end of 5% discounted books in France for Amazon customers.

As if that wasn’t enough to trouble Amazon, the German workers in Amazon’s warehouse at Bad Hersfeld and Leipzig are planning more strikes in the run up to Christmas. German Newspaper Der Spiegel quote a Verdi trade union rep as saying Amazon shouldn’t rely on making all their deliveries to customer on time before Christmas.

The Germans should however take note that strikes may simply make Amazon up sticks and run for the border. According to Polish newspaper Puls Biznesu Amazon are considering five new logistics centres in the Czech Republic and Poland from where delivery to Germany and the rest of the EU is straightforward.

According to Puls Biznusu part of the reason Amazon are eyeing up the Czech Republic and Poland are because they’re generally cheaper countries than much of Western Europe to operate in. Strikes in Germany might just mean Amazon move their entire operation if it proves less troublesome than dealing with the unions.

So far Amazon doesn’t appear too troubled in the UK, so unless you’re an importer of Fois Gras it’s business as usual. Let’s hope it stays that way in the run up to Christmas.