Amazon Prime Falls Foul of French Authorities

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By Jessica Hartogs, Special to CNBC

U.S. retail giant Amazon has irked the French - again - this time in the form of its new food delivery service, Amazon Prime Now.

Amazon Prime Now – which promises to deliver groceries and other household items to the homes of Amazon Premium members in less than an hour - already operates across several U.S. and European cities, including London, and was launched in Paris last week.

The French capital is being served from a large warehouse in Paris' 18th arrondissement, employing 70 staff.

However, Parisian mayor Anne Hidalgo claims that the American company only informed French authorities about the launch of the new service a couple of days before it went into practice.

In a statement released earlier this week, Hidalgo says: "This operation risks seriously upsetting the commercial balance in Paris."

The popular Socialist politician added that there was a need to "define by law, the protections in order to prevent such services becoming an unfair competition to shopkeepers and artisans. Paris will be intransigent vis-a-vis Amazon."

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"We're not opposed to innovation; we just don't think it's fair that Amazon does not have to pay the same social charges as regular businesses," added Olivia Polski, head of trade for the Mayor of Paris, on French radio station France Info.

French politicians already took on Amazon in 2014. Nicknamed the "Anti-Amazon law," France fought Amazon's free delivery book service to protect local booksellers. Amazon responded by introducing a one centime euro charge per delivery, infuriating authorities.