Washington : Parler, the alternative social media platform favoured by conservatives in the US, sued Amazon on Monday (local time) after the tech giant de-platformed it, alleging an antitrust violation, breach of contract and interference with the company’s business relationships with users.
Parler has been heavily used by supporters of President Donald Trump, including some who participated in the US Capitol unrest on January 6.
“Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online… And a delay of granting this TRO by even one day could also sound Parler’s death knell as President Trump and others move on to other platforms,” said the complaint.
Parler’s lawsuit claimed that Amazon has unlawfully sought to restrain competition by eliminating a player from the market, and that it had breached its contract with Parler by not providing the social media app a 30 days notice of termination, and that its actions interfere with Parler’s relationships with current and future users.
In a letter obtained by CNN Business that was sent to Parler Chief Policy Officer Amy Peikoff on Saturday, Amazon Web Services said that in recent weeks it has reported 98 examples to Parler of “posts that clearly encourage and incite violence.” The letter includes screenshots of several examples.
“We’ve seen a steady increase in this violent content on your website, all of which violates our terms… It’s clear that Parler does not have an effective process to comply with the AWS terms of service,” said AWS.
While Google removed the app from its Play Store on Friday, Apple also banned Parler from its App Store on Saturday. According to The Verge, these bans come after the accusations that the social media app was fostering calls to violence ahead of, and following, the riots at the US Capitol.
Parler CEO John Matze had earlier accused Amazon, Google, and Apple of a coordinated attack to kill competition.
“We were too successful too fast,” Matze wrote. “You can expect the war on competition and free speech to continue, but don’t count us out.”