France considers moratorium on new e-commerce warehouses, minister says


FILE PHOTO: Barbara Pompili, French Minister for the Ecological Transition, speaks during questions at the government session at the National Assembly in Paris, France, July 8, 2020. REUTERS / Gonzalo Fuentes

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s new Environment Minister Barbara Pompili said on Thursday she would push to halt the development of warehouses used by online companies such as Amazon, in a possible setback for the internet giant. e-commerce.

Pompili, who was appointed to the post in a cabinet reshuffle by President Emmanuel Macron this month, said any moratorium on warehouse plans would be “for a few months” and would aim to instigate a broader discussion on the retail sector.

“It is not a weapon against Amazon,” Pompili told France Inter radio.

Amazon plans to open new warehouses in France in the short and medium term.

Pompili said the state wants to protect small retail businesses and help them survive the expansion of major e-commerce competitors. She said the initiative had been discussed with other ministers but the government had yet to take concrete action.

She said a moratorium would commission a parliamentary report to probe the impact on jobs and local areas linked to the warehouse plans.

Amazon ran into problems in France during the coronavirus crisis after a dispute with unions over security measures, which forced it to close its six warehouses for several weeks, reducing and delaying some deliveries.

Reporting by Elizabeth Pineau; Written by Matthieu Protard, edited by Sarah White

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