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Parler drops lawsuit against Amazon for taking it offline but files new case alleging breach of contract and defamation - as it's revealed ex-CEO John Matze was stripped of all shares when he was abruptly fired last month

 Parler has dropped its antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services but files a new case accusing the tech giant of defamation and breach of contract.

The company, which is favored among right-wing Americans, filed the initial suit against Amazon after it was removed from its platform and forced offline just days after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol.

At the time, Amazon said Parler had failed to adequately moderate content related to the attack, including calls to assassinate prominent Democratic politicians. Parler disputed the claims and filed the antitrust suit in response.

However, nearly two-months on, Parler filed a motion in a Washington federal court late Tuesday to dismiss the case, without giving a reason. 

Tuesday was Parler's deadline to file an amended complaint in the case, after getting a two-week extension from the court, The Verge reported.

The same day, Parler filed another suit against Amazon, accusing the Jeff Bezos-owned company of breach of contract and defamation, according to Fox Business

News of that suit came as it was claimed that former Parler CEO John Matze was stripped of his entire stake in the controversial social media platform, following his unceremonious firing last month.

Parler has dropped its antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services in January, which forced the controversial social media app offline

Parler has dropped its antitrust lawsuit against Amazon for cutting off its web-hosting services in January, which forced the controversial social media app offline

Meckler stepped in after the previous CEO, founder Mark Matze (pictured), was fired
Parler's relaunch statement included a quote from its new Interim CEO Mark Meckler (pictured)

News of that suit came on the same day as it was revealed that former Parler CEO, John Matze (left), was stripped of his entire stake in the controversial social media platform, following his unceremonious firing last month.  Mark Meckler (right) is now serving as Interim CEO

In the new suit, Parler calls Amazon a 'bully', claiming the company had removed Parler from its cloud services only when former President Donald Trump had been banned from Twitter and Facebook and Parler was poised to become competition if he brought his millions of followers to the site.

'The true reason why AWS decided to suspend and/or terminate its contract with Parler was not because of any alleged breach of the contract, but because AWS did not want Parler to be able to provide a new platform to conservative voices, including Donald Trump, or to compete effectively with other microblogging platforms such as Twitter,' the suit reads.

The company added that Amazon's claims it was removed because it failed to delete violent rhetoric from its site were false, adding it had removed any 'arguably inappropriate content'. 


Parler also said Amazon never raised any concern over its content in the two years before it was ousted from its web-hosting services.

The lawsuit notes that Parler had been worth $1 billion before it was removed by Amazon's 'unlawful' actions, alleging it has since lost millions of dollars and suffered significant harm to its reputation.

Parler further alleges that Amazon said it was 'okay' regarding any 'problematic' content on its site just two days before Amazon announced the company’s removal. 

Amazon Web Services had known Parler used a 'reactive system to deal with problematic content – and not once had AWS said that such a system was insufficient or in violation of the parties’ contract,' it said.

In summation, Parler claimed it was a victim of Amazon's 'efforts to destroy an up-and-coming technology company through deceptive, defamatory, anticompetitive, and bad faith conduct.'  

Parler filed another suit against Amazon on Tuesday, accusing the company of breach of contract and defamation

Parler filed another suit against Amazon on Tuesday, accusing the company of breach of contract and defamation

The app went dark in January as many service providers pulled back support, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack on the US Capitol by followers of then President Donald Trump.

Google also removed the application from its Play Store and Apple from App Store.

In late January, a judge ruled against Parler’s request to force Amazon to restore the company to its web hosting services.

A month later, Parler re-launched its services online and said the new platform was built on 'sustainable, independent technology.' 

It remains unclear who is hosting Parler's relaunched site. 

On January 19 Parler reappeared with the help of a Russian-owned web security service.

Parler's domain name is now registered with Epik Inc., a website services company based in Sammamish, Washington, according to public records made available by internet regulator Icann.

Epik is also the domain registrar for Gab, another less restrictive social networking site popular with the far-right.

New community guidelines on Parler state that the platform is 'viewpoint neutral' and will not allow for promotion of crime or unlawful acts.

The app went dark in January as many service providers pulled back support, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack on the US Capitol by followers of then President Donald Trump

The app went dark in January as many service providers pulled back support, accusing it of failing to police violent content related to the attack on the US Capitol by followers of then President Donald Trump

Social media platform Parler suspended by Amazon Cloud
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Since the attacks, numerous Parler users have been charged in connection to the Capitol riots, and in some cases the Department of Justice has referred to the threats suspects made on the app in charging documents.

Parler's board of directors, which is headed by conservative mega-donor Rebekah Mercer, fired CEO John Matze last month. 

Mark Meckler, an attorney, political activist, and founder of the Tea Party Patriots, is now serving as interim CEO. 

Matze, 27, has repeatedly condemned his firing in recent weeks, accusing Mercer of betraying him.

Speaking to Axios on HBO last month, Matze claimed that he was ousted after trying to ban QAnon conspiracy theories and crackdown on white supremacists using the app.

'I feel like it was a stab in the back by somebody that I thought I knew. And so for me, you know, I would never do business with her again,' Matze said of Mercer.

'I thought I knew her. She invited my family on trips with them and everything. I thought that she was, generally speaking, I thought she was being real. And then she just abruptly has her people fire me and doesn't even talk to me about it.'

It was then reported by NPR on Tuesday that the power struggle that led to Matze's abrupt firing became so acrimonious that when he was eventually ousted, he was also involuntarily stripped off all his shares in the company.

Matze told Axios on HBO that he was 'betrayed' and stabbed in the back by heiress investor Rebekah Mercer after he was ousted by Parler's board last week

Matze told Axios on HBO that he was 'betrayed' and stabbed in the back by heiress investor Rebekah Mercer after he was ousted by Parler's board last week

Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer is one of Parler's key financial backers who owns a majority stake. She is pictured at Trump Tower in New York back in December 2016

Republican mega-donor Rebekah Mercer is one of Parler's key financial backers who owns a majority stake. She is pictured at Trump Tower in New York back in December 2016

Parler officials have disputed Matze's characterization of his firing, calling his sequence of events 'inaccurate and misleading.' 

While disputes over an executives severance are far from rare, attorney Michael Stebbins a CEO losing all equity is incredibly unusual.

'This is not typical,' he told NPR. 'He probably has something to fight about.

'This could have been done under the imprimatur of legitimacy but they may have breached their fiduciary duty.'

Neither Matze nor Parler have commented publicly on the report.

But since his firing, Mercer is said to have assumed a greater role in shaping the next chapter of the alternative social network.

'She clearly likes influence and power, and this is a place for her to expand her influence and power,' one Parler official told the Washington Post. 

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