Amazon is accusing Parler of attempting to conceal ownership of the company in legal filings Tuesday as a lawsuit unfolds between the two companies stemming from the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
The retail giant's attorneys argue that the social media company sued in Seattle's King County in early March so "Parler could more readily escape" a hearing in front of a federal judge who already shut down a previous lawsuit filed in January.
“Parler’s judge shopping is evident,” Amazon’s attorneys wrote in their Tuesday filings.
Amazon claims Parler was taken off the internet on Jan. 10 because the platform was unable to moderate a rise in violent content before, during, and after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.
The lawsuit filed by the social media platform in King County alleges Amazon engaged in unfair trade practices when it was taken off the internet by Amazon Web Services in January. The company is seeking monetary compensation.
“This is a ginned-up effort to try to throw mud at Parler, when Parler has been completely clear about its ownership,” Calfo said, arguing Amazon received sealed documents about the company's corporate structure. He added the documents were sealed to protect the identities of the parties due to threats of violence.
The legal dispute follows a failed antitrust lawsuit Parler filed in January alleging antitrust claims against Amazon, saying the company illegally sought to reduce competition in the social media marketplace. The company was battling to be added back onto the internet by Amazon.
Parler, often labeled as a conservative free speech alternative to social media platforms such as Twitter or Facebook, gained popularity in late 2020 and early this year after many popular platforms began banning posts that claimed the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
The first legal dispute was initiated by Parler after Amazon Web Services, the Seattle-based company's cloud-computing division, ended work with Parler and temporarily wiped the platform off the internet. The website and application are now back online and hosted by SkySilk, a Los Angeles-based cloud-computing service.
Parler requested a federal judge in Seattle force Amazon to reinstate the platform on the internet, which U.S. District Judge Barbara Rothstein from the Western District of Washington ruled against in January. Parler filed the new complaint in King County Superior Court on March 2.
Amazon then took the case back into federal court, where it was assigned the same judge who had ruled against Parler. The social media company objected to Amazon's move, arguing the federal court in Washington has no jurisdiction over the case since both Amazon and Parler are incorporated in Delaware.
Amazon was initially incorporated in Seattle but reincorporated in Delaware in 1996, the Seattle Times reported.
GOP political donor Rebekah Mercer confirmed she helped financially support the site and has spoken to media sources as a shadow executive.
Parler's founder John Matze was fired as CEO on Feb. 3 by the company's board, which is led by Mercer, though it is unclear if she controls the social network. If she does, the lawsuit against Amazon will likely be heard by a Seattle judge.
The Washington Examiner reached out to Parler but did not immediately receive a response.
Source : https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/amazon-accusing-parler-attempt-conceal-owners