Parler–the new social media alternative to Twitter and Facebook–filed a lawsuit against Amazon earlier this week after Amazon abruptly removed the company from its cloud service platform.
Amazon’s actions essentially killed the rapidly growing app and Parler wasted no time filing a lawsuit for injunctive relief and money damages.
According to the complaint filed in the United State District Court for the Western District of Washington, Parler contracted with Amazon as its cloud service provider when the site was formed. Parler saw its membership grow exponentially after the November 2020 election. The complaint states
less than a week after Election Day, between November 3rd and November 8th, Parler’s app experienced nearly on million downloads…This resulted in Parler rocketing to be the #1 free app in the iOS App Store, up from #1,023 just a week earlier…Likewise, in that same week the Parler app went from 486th to 1st in the Google Play rankings.
Parler’s membership surged again in 2021 when President Trump was banned from Twitter. On that day alone, Parler membership increased in the United States by 355%.
Amazon, which just last month signed a multi-year deal with Twitter to provide cloud servicing, withdrew its platform from Parler with only a single day’s notice. As justification for its actions, Amazon claimed that Parler was used to facilitate protests on the Capitol on January 6.
Parler’s complaint asserts that Amazon’s actions violate Section 1 of the Sherman Act which prohibits businesses from conspiring to retain trade or commerce. The complaint also claims that Parler’s contract with Amazon required at least 30 day’s notice before the servicing agreement could be terminated. Amazon allegedly breached its contract with Parler by ending its service agreement without proper notice. Finally, Parler claims that Amazon’s actions amount to tortious interference with the contracts formed between Parler and its members.
Parler is asking for an order from the court directing Amazon to maintain Parler’s site according to the terms of their contract and for money damages for the financial harm Amazon’s actions have caused.