‘An assault on everybody’: Parler files antitrust lawsuit against Amazon

by WorldTribune Staff, January 11, 2021

Google and Apple on Friday worked in unison to remove the free speech social media platform Parler from app stores.

Shockingly, Parler is currently offline after Amazon deplatformed the site from its web server effective midnight Sunday. The action impacted the freedom of expression for tens of millions of conservatives in the United States and the freedom of the press for alternative  media. [Facebook announced today it is removing all content mentioning “stop the steal,” the Wall Street Journal reported.]

Upstart Parler had emerged as the primary alternative for conservative viewpoints banned or suppressed by the Silicon Valley Big Tech titans following the surprise victory of Donald Trump in the 2016 election. The crackdown has accelerated after the official results of  the Nov. 3, 2020 election were challenged by President Trump and his supporters in public hearings and in a major rally in Washington, DC on Jan. 6.

On Monday, Parler sued Amazon, alleging that its suspension from Amazon’s hosting service violated antitrust law and breached the company’s contractual arrangement.

The 18-page complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle, where Amazon is headquartered, accuses Amazon Web Services (AWS) of applying a politically motivated double standard to Parler in contrast to its treatment of Twitter.

Parler CEO John Matze told Sunday Morning Futures with host Maria Bartiromo on Fox Business that his social media company has been dropped by virtually all of its business alliances after Amazon, Apple and Google ended their agreements with the social media service.

Matze said the bans, which could put the company out of business, are “an assault on everybody.”

“They all work together to make sure at the same time we would lose access to not only our apps, but they’re actually shutting all of our servers off tonight, off the Internet,” Matze said. “They made an attempt to not only kill the app, but to actually destroy the entire company. And it’s not just these three companies. Every vendor from text message services to email providers to our lawyers all ditched us too on the same day.”

Amazon, Apple and Google cited the potential of spreading violent content on Parler, a free speech alternative to Twitter and Facebook.

“They’re trying to falsely claim that we’re somehow responsible for the events that occurred on the 6th,” Matze said.

“It would put anybody out of business,” he said of the tech bans. “This thing could destroy anybody.”

Matze added: “We’re going to try our best to get back online as quickly as possible. But we’re having a lot of trouble because every vendor we talk to says they won’t work with us. Because if Apple doesn’t approve and Google doesn’t approve, they won’t.”

California Republican Rep. Devin Nunes said the CEOs of the Big Tech companies that worked together to deplatform Parler should be brought up on racketeering charges.

“So I don’t know where the hell the Department of Justice is at right now or the FBI,” Nunes said on Sunday Morning Futures with Bartiromo. “This is clearly a violation of antitrust, civil rights, the RICO statute. There should be a racketeering investigation on all the people that coordinated this attack on not only a company but on all of those like us, like me, like you Maria.”

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