The judge in the Parler vs Amazon case has denied Parler’s request for a temporary restraining order against Amazon.
“Parler has failed to meet the standard set by Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent for issuance of a preliminary injunction,” Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein wrote in her conclusion.
Although the judge did note that her order was not to say that Parler didn’t have any substantial claims, but that “Parler has fallen far short, however, of demonstrating, as it must, that it has raised serious questions going to the merits of its claims, or that the balance of hardships tips sharply in its favor.
“It has also failed to demonstrate that it is likely to prevail on the merits of any of its three claims; that the balance of equities tips in its favor, let alone strongly so; or that the public interests lie in granting the injunction,” the judge concluded.
Parler, a free speech Twitter alternative, was hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS). On Sunday January 10th, Parler went offline after it was banned from AWS.
Parler sued Amazon, claiming that getting removed from AWS is a violation of antitrust laws and was “motivated by political animus.”
Parler accused Amazon of violating antitrust laws because both Twitter and Parler had a multi-year deal with AWS.
The lawsuit stated:
“When Twitter announced two evenings ago that it was permanently banning President Trump from its platform, conservative users began to flee Twitter en masse for Parler. The exodus was so large that the next day, yesterday, Parler became the number one free app downloaded from Apple’s App Store.”
The suit states that AWS claimed it was removing Parler because it “was not confident Parler could properly police its platform regarding content that encourages or incites violence against others,” yet Parler argued that Amazon was trying to hold them to a a standard that it does not hold its competitors to.
“It is also apparently designed to reduce competition in the microblogging services market to the benefit of Twitter,” the suit states. “Thus, AWS is violating Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act in combination with Defendant Twitter.”
The lawsuit also alleged Parler’s removal by the web hosting service was “motivated by political animus.”
The suit also claimed that AWS broke the law because it did not give Parler “a thirty-day notice before terminating service.”
Additionally, “AWS is committing intentional interference with the prospective economic advantage given the millions of users expected to sign up in the future,” Parler argued.
For all these reasons, the social media company asked the court for an emergency order to refuse AWS’s shutdown of its servers.
That is the request that was today rejected.
The social media site has been offline since that Sunday, although CEO John Matze said this week that he hopes for the platform to be back online sometime this month.