January 12, 2021 12:02:09 pm
Amazon.com Inc was sued by Parler over its decision to kick the site off its servers on Monday in the wake of rioting at the US Capitol. The site, which describes itself as a “conservative microblogging alternative and competitor to Twitter,” was taken offline early Monday morning after large tech companies including Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google withdrew their support.
The company then filed an antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Seattle seeking an order forcing Amazon to maintain its account and blocking it from suspending or terminating it or failing to provide services it agreed on.
The suit seeks a temporary restraining order to stop Amazon Web Services from shutting the site down. Parler says Amazon is required to provide 30 days’ notice before terminating its service.
Shutting it down “is the equivalent of pulling the plug on a hospital patient on life support,” Parler said. “It will kill Parler’s business — at the very time it is set to skyrocket.”
Parler said Amazon told it late Sunday that it was suspending its account because it “was not confident Parler could properly police its platform regarding content that encourages or incites violence against others.”
“However, Friday night one of the top trending tweets on Twitter was ‘Hang Mike Pence,’” Parler said in its complaint. But Amazon Web Services “has no plans nor has it made any threats to suspend Twitter’s account. AWS’s decision to effectively terminate Parler’s account is apparently motivated by political animus. It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter.”
The case is Parler LLC v Amazon Web Services Inc., 21-cv-31, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington.
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