According to authorities in Paris the new express delivery service that could see products – including groceries – delivered to customers’ homes within an hour will disadvantage the scores of independent stores in Paris.
Up until now Amazon had only offered same-day delivery for orders placed before 2pm.
They say they were only informed about the new one-hour service days before its launch last Thursday and have promised to be “uncompromising” on several points.
Firstly authorities in Paris have vowed to protect the interests of local independent shops, which give the French capital part of its world-renowned charm, but struggle to compete with web retailers the size of Amazon.
It wants legislators to define in law some safeguards that will prevent Amazon providing unfair competition to local traders and artisans.
It also claims existing laws around the opening of new supermarkets in Paris can be applied to Amazon and its “Prime Now” delivery service, which operates from a distribution centre in the 18th arrondissement, in the north of Paris.
Paris has also vowed to be ensure the service does not lead to any knock-on effects in terms of traffic and pollution, caused by the deliveries of products.
Paris City Hall, led by Socialist mayor Anne Hidalgo, has previously shown her willingness to stand up for local stores in Paris.
Her battle against the government's plan to extend Sunday shop openings was because she feared allowing big stores like Galeries Lafayette to open on Sunday would disadvantage the small independent shops, for whom Sunday is a key day.
The battle is just another example of France’s fraught relationship with US multi-nationals, and in particular Amazon.
In 2013 former culture minister Aurelie Filippetti said Amazon was a “destroyer” of bookshops and in 2014 Amazon and the French government became involved in a tit for tat battle over its delivery service.
Amazon decided to hit back at a new law banning it from offering free deliveries in France by charging customers just one centime (1.4 cents) for books dispatched to their homes.