Virginie Lemaire recently opened her email to an unsettling message from Amazon: fees for sellers like her in France will be increasing by 3%.
Lemaire, a single mother of two, started her jewelry company Perle d’un jour in 2011. Trained as an artisan jeweler, she makes handmade custom pieces like necklaces, bracelets and rings.
The French small business owner started selling her products on Amazon two years ago and now generates one-fifth of her sales from the e-commerce giant’s marketplace.
So it was an unwelcome surprise when she found out Amazon would be raising seller fees for her and thousands of other small and medium-sized French businesses starting in October. The reason the company cited was simple: a 3% digital tax passed by the French government in July.
Amazon’s move appears to directly conflict with the French government’s aim of leveling the playing field between Big Tech and small and medium-sized enterprises, and further complicates France’s effort to rein in companies like Amazon, Facebook and Google.