(Bloomberg) -- Parler LLC remains hobbled while it relies on a Russian-owned service for a bare-bones web presence after a judge refused to immediately order Amazon.com Inc. to restore hosting for the social media platform popular with conservatives.Thursday’s ruling is a significant blow for the site that’s become known as a voice for aggrieved Donald Trump supporters and right-wing dialog.
Parler will still be able to pursue its lawsuit alleging that its cutoff by Amazon Web Services was a politically motivated decision to favor Twitter. But U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein in Seattle made clear that the evidence of an antitrust violation, so far, is thin.
“Parler has failed to do more than raise the specter of preferential treatment of Twitter by AWS,” Rothstein said in her ruling, which also rejected Parler’s argument that AWS broke their contract. “Importantly, Parler has submitted no evidence that AWS and Twitter acted together intentionally -- or even at all -- in restraint of trade.”Amazon has said Parler was incapable of moderating a proliferation of violent content, particularly in the period leading up to and following the Jan. 6 mob attack on the Capitol.Cloud services are increasingly dominated by fewer, bigger companies, that can provide the web infrastructure and cyber-security services social media services require, Parler argued in a court filing Monday. The platform said it tried to resgister with six potential providers, all of which it said were spooked by what happened with AWS, before a Russian-owned web security service agreed to host it in a diminished form.
Read More: Parler CEO Goes Into Hiding Blaming Amazon Flak, Death Threats“There is simply no way for Parler to remain competitive and therefore viable without using someone else’s servers,” Parler said in the filing. “And AWS knew this when it pulled Parler’s plug.”
Parler’s lawyer, David J. Groesbeck, and a spokeswoman for the company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon representatives didn’t immediately respond either.A lawyer for AWS previously argued to Rothstein that the escalation of violent content on Parler had reached the point that posts are being cited by prosecutors in criminal cases against users of the site.Despite the help it received from Russian technology, Parler is pushing forward with its demand for Amazon to restore service.
“Parler is an internet company that cannot get on the internet,” it argued in the filing. “And the longer Parler lies dead, the harder it will be to resuscitate.”The case is Parler v. Amazon Web Services, 21-cv-00031, U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington (Seattle).
(Updates with Parler’s argument in seventh paragraph.)
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