Amazon restricted from selling non-essential items in France after it loses court appeal

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Amazon has lost its appeal of a French court ruling that requires the company to temporarily stop delivering nonessential items in France or face hefty fines, the New York Times reported.

The Versailles Court of Appeals upheld a lower-court ruling that led the e-commerce company to close six of its fulfillment centers in France and put workers on paid furlough. Amazon had said the definition of what goods it could ship was not clear and rather than risk being fined, opted to temporarily close the fulfillment centers.

Under the French court ruling, Amazon can only deliver items directly related to medical supplies, hygiene products, and food items in the country during the coronavirus pandemic. It must conduct a risk assessment of its warehouses with labor unions. The unions took Amazon to court for what they considered a failure by the company to protect warehouse employees from exposure to the coronavirus.

The company tweeted in response to the ruling, “We have heard the outcome of our appeal and remain puzzled by the decision. We are currently assessing the implications for our sites as well as for our employees and customers in France.”

The Versailles Court of Appeals said if Amazon violates the ruling the company would be fined €100,000 (about $108,000) for each delivery that does not meet its conditions. The court will revisit the company’s progress next month.

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