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France to pause development of ecommerce warehouses

France has announced plans to pause the development of warehouses used by ecommerce companies. This would mean a setback for online retail giants such as Amazon. The plan was announced by the newly-appointed Minister of Environment, Barbara Pompili.

Last week she announced the plans, explaining how the moratorium would be for a few months. With the announced actions, she wants to stimulate a broader discussion about ecommerce in France.

Amazon wanted to open new warehouses

Pompili emphasized that pausing the development of warehouses is not a weapon against Amazon. The US ecommerce company has planned to open new warehouses in France in the short and medium term, Reuters says.

"It’s not a weapon against Amazon."

The new minister explained that the state of France wants to protect small retail businesses, by helping them survive the expansion of major ecommerce companies such as Amazon.

Right now, the plans are just plans, as the government has yet to take concrete steps. “A moratorium would allow for the commissioning of a parliamentary report to probe the impact on jobs and local areas linked to warehouse plans”, she told French radio.

Amazon and the French state don’t have the best relationship at the moment. During the coronavirus crisis, there was a dispute with unions over safety measures. Ultimately, this led to the closing of six Amazon warehouses for several weeks.

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