A Reuters article describes how the French government was looking to restrict Amazon from providing their customers with free delivery or other discounts, because they wish to protect the existing market.
Guillaume Husson, spokesman for the SLF book retailers’ union, said Amazon’s practice of bundling a 5 percent discount with free delivery amounted to selling books at a loss, which was impossible for traditional book sellers of any size.
“Today, the competition is unfair… No other book retailer, whether a small or large book or even a chain, can allow itself to lose that much money,” he said, referring to Amazon’s alleged losses on free delivery.
Sylvain Charat writes an article in Forbes about the French film industry, and how cronyism has caused it to be unsuccessful:
French government agencies are funding the arts, culture, and the movie industry through the National Center of Cinematography and the Moving Image (or CNC). As of February 2012, its liquid assets amounted to $1.3 billion. Through its 46 committees, the CNC is distributing money to movie producers, filmmakers, and actors. Thomas Langmann, who produced “The Artist,” provided some insight into the the CNC’s decision-making process: “it is an agency based on cronyism and it gives money to movies which, without it, would never have had a chance to be produced.”
This should be a warning to the American film industry, which seems happy to accept more and more state and federal tax incentives.
A reminder that cronyism is not a uniquely American phenomenon. From the United Press International,
The head of a group that lobbied for a French law requiring drivers to carry self-breathalyzing kits also works for a maker of the device, a newspaper reports.
The article continues,
Orgeval defended his dual role, saying he lobbied for “road safety.”
It’s noteworthy that the lobbyist defended his advocacy efforts on the basis of the policy’s ostensible benefits to the public, not his financial stake. Cronyism is often cloaked under the mantle of public welfare.