Parler, a free speech social media platform, filed a lawsuit against Amazon Web Services on Monday alleging that the big tech company terminated the social media platform’s account due to “political animus” and violated antitrust laws in the process.
“This death blow by AWS could not come at a worse time for Parler — a time when the company is surging with the potential of even more explosive growth in the next few days,” the lawsuit states. “Worse than the timing is the result — Parler has tried to find alternative companies to host it and they have fallen through. It has no other options. Without AWS, Parler is finished as it has no way to get online.”
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington, follows Amazon’s decision to boot the site off of its web hosting service effective Sunday over “a steady increase in violent content.” Google and Apple also decided to remove Parler from their app stores, just days after the app received an influx of users following Twitter’s ban on President Donald Trump and other conservative accounts.
Parler’s legal complaint also suggests that in addition to the web hosting service attempting to eliminate competition in the social media marketplace, Amazon infringed on its own contract with the company by discontinuing its services to them with just 30 hours of notice instead of 30 days. Because of the swiftness and urgency of the shutdown, Parler requested a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunctive relief from a judge to keep the platform alive despite Amazon’s wishes to shut it down.
“Doing so is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support. It will kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket,” the lawsuit states. “Parler will be severely damaged financially and reputationally if it must go offline Sunday at midnight because AWS terminates Parler’s account. As noted above, given the speculative nature of Parler’s financial and reputational damages, money damages will not make it whole.”