Republican lawmakers grill Apple, Amazon and Google over Parler removal

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Republican lawmakers on the House and Senate antitrust committees have penned letters to Apple, Google, and Amazon, pressing them on the platform removal of fringe social media platform Parler.

In their letters to Apple, Amazon, and Google, Rep. Ken Buck and Sen. Mike Lee grilled the companies on whether they followed "procedural fairness" in their decisions to take down Parler. They framed the takedown as technology giants targeting "one small business."

"The timing of steps taken against the Parler social network by your companies and that the actions seem to lack any of the procedural fairness typically afforded in the case of an alleged breach of contract create the appearance of close coordination," the legislators wrote.

Apple pulled Parler from the App Store on complaints that it was used to "plan, coordinate, and facilitate" the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. Google soon followed suit, and Amazon Web Services also purged the social media site.

In a complaint filed in March, Parler accused Amazon of seeking to limit the app's market power, The Hill reported. It lodged that complaint in a Washington state court the same day it filed to dismiss its existing federal case against Amazon.

Apple maintains that Parler can return to the App Store if it updates its content moderation practices in accordance with developers guidelines.

A March report indicated that, even after the implementation of updated moderation practices, Parler was still denied reentry to Apple's app marketplace. That's because Apple app reviewers found objectionable content, including Nazi and white nationalist imagery.

The Republican lawmakers requested that Apple, Amazon, and Google issue a response no later than April 15.