- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 21, 2021

A federal judge on Thursday ruled that Amazon did not need to immediately restore its services to the social media platform Parler. 

Judge Barbara Jacobs Rothstein’s order allows Parler’s case against Amazon to proceed while scrapping the platform’s initial request that the judge make Amazon restore Parler. 

Amazon Web Services took Parler offline earlier this month, as Amazon fretted the consequences of harmful speech on Parler amid the riot at the Capitol. Parler subsequently filed an antitrust lawsuit in a Seattle-based federal court against Amazon that also alleged the company breached its contract. 

“Parler has failed to meet the standard set by Ninth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court precedent for issuance of a preliminary injunction,” Judge Rothstein wrote. “To be clear, the Court is not dismissing Parler’s substantive underlying claims at this time. 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.”

While the judge’s order dealt Parler’s legal case a blow, the company is facing other headwinds elsewhere. Parler’s app remains unavailable from Apple and Google’s app stores, and additional scrutiny from lawmakers looks to be headed its way. 

On Thursday, House Committee on Oversight and Reform chair Carolyn B. Maloney asked the FBI to investigate Parler, including whether it played a role in the riot at the Capitol.

• Ryan Lovelace can be reached at rlovelace@washingtontimes.com.

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