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Amazon Web Services Opposes Parler’s Request for Temporary Restraining Order

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Seattle, USA - Feb 10, 2020: Amazon Prime Now Delivery van on 4th avenue late in the day with the Space Needle in the background.

On Tuesday in the Western District of Washington, Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) filed a response in opposition to plaintiff Parler LLC’s motion for a temporary restraining order, claiming that Parler failed to satisfy the requirements for this requested relief.

Parler filed a complaint on Monday against AWS for suspending Parler’s cloud services, which Parler claimed would “kill Parler’s business.” The allegations against AWS included violations of Section 1 of the Sherman Act, breach of contract, and tortious interference. Parler also filed a motion for temporary restraining order on Monday to “prevent irreparable harm to the plaintiff” by asking the court to enjoin AWS from suspending Parler’s account and terminating the parties’ agreement.

In its response AWS claimed that this “case is not about suppressing speech or stifling viewpoints. It is not about a conspiracy to restrain trade. Instead, this case is about Parler’s demonstrated unwillingness and inability to remove from the servers of Amazon Web Services (‘AWS’) content that threatens ( ) public safety.” According to AWS, Parler uses minimum content moderation practices as per its “hands-off approach to moderating user content.”

AWS added that there “is no legal basis in AWS’s customer agreements or otherwise to compel AWS to host content of this nature.” Parler repeatedly violated its agreement with AWS, according to the opposition, by purportedly hosting content that threatened violence, according to the opposition. For example, during a seven-week period, AWS claimed that it reported more than 100 “representative pieces of content advocating violence.”

AWS contended that it notified Parler multiple times that its “content violated the parties’ agreement, requested removal, and reviewed Parler’s plan to address the problem, only to determine that Parler was both unwilling and unable to do so.” AWS asserted that it suspended Parler’s account “as a last resort to prevent further access to such content.” However, AWS stated that it had the right to suspend Parler’s account for these purported failures and pointed to Apple and Google terminating Parler’s account on Jan. 9, 2021.

According to AWS, Parler’s suit is meritless. AWS averred that it did not breach its contract with Parler; rather, Parler breached the contract because of its “failure and inability to remove” this content. AWS proffered that Parler “cannot hold AWS liable in tort for enforcing the agreement’s express terms.” Additionally, AWS alleged that there is no antitrust claim because Parler cannot plausibly plead it was harmed since the alleged conduct “is undeniably compatible with a legitimate purpose.”

Amazon Web Services is represented by Davis Wright Tremaine LLP.

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