The Parler antitrust case against Amazon AWS is weaker than a wet noodle.

Yes, I am going to beat this dead horse. THREAD. /1
It's not surprising to see Parler attempting to use antitrust laws to force Big Tech back into doing business with them. Antitrust seems like everyone's fix-it tool these days. But Parler wields this tool particularly ineptly. /2
In duscussion with my colleagues, we agree that no one should be surprised at the quick dismissal for failure to state a claim that Amazon has probably already drafted. /3
The complaint itself notes, “To state a claim under Section 1 [of the Sherman Act], a plaintiff must allege facts that, if true, will prove: (1) the existence of a conspiracy...” Yet Parler alleges no such conspiracy; it doesn't even name Twitter as an alleged co-conspirator. /4
Instead, Parler claims AWS’s “reasons for [terminating Parler’s conract] are not consistent with its treatment of Twitter, indicating a desire to harm Parler.” Nowhere does the complaint allege that AWS conspired with Twitter to do so; thus, there can be no Section 1 claim. /5
Nor is any other antitrust claim remotely feasible. Sherman Act Section 2, on exceedingly rare occasions, prohibits a refusal to deal with a competitor. But Parler doesn't compete against AWS, and the complaint alleges no market power. /6
The Robinson-Patman Act prohibits treating different buyers differently in some case but applies only to the sale of commodities (like cars), not services (like web hosting). /7
One of my colleagues who knows antitrust litigation much better than I do concluded that "Parler will be lucky to escape this lawsuit without being sanctioned for filing a frivolous pleading." /END
Others have autopsied this DOA complaint, including it's non-antitrust claims. See this thorough and savage thread by @AkivaMCohen.
See also @ProfWrightGMU, who just needs one tweet to say what I said in eight:

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More from @neil_chilson

9 Dec 20
Ok, I've read the FTC complaint against Facebook and have a few initial thoughts. A quick thread.
At first, I was like "Wow, this court filing is so well written and the grammar is tight and it's filed in the right court!"

And then I realized I've been reading too many Trump team election appeals so my standards might be low.
Ok, now onto the things that jumped out to me. I already noted the slight oddity of a 3-2 vote with no published dissents:
Read 8 tweets
9 Dec 20
You may be asking, "Wait, the FTC vote on the Facebook case was 3-2, but where are the dissents?" I am! Well, there are two possibilities. SHORT THREAD.
1) Sometimes dissenters don't post out of courtesy to staffe. That's more common in low-stakes cases. Seems unlikely here.
2) More likely, dissents are being delayed because staff is putting the dissenting commissioners' statements through the ringer, pushing hard to remove anything that could be used against the FTC's case in court.
Read 6 tweets
20 Oct 20
The DOJ complaint against Google is out. Here is a thread with a few thoughts i had while reading it.…
As with all complaints, first read alleged violations (p55) to learn what the DOJ thinks actually matters, legally.

*Not* in the allegations: search bias, acquisitions, Play store fees, scraping, self-preferencing, or display ads. Many GOOG enemies prob. feeling left out today.
What *is* alleged? In three different "markets" (general search, general search advertising, and general search text advertising), the same core alleged misconduct is Google's contracts with browser devs, phone manufacturers, and carriers, incl. to default to Google search.
Read 11 tweets
24 Jun 20
"How in 20 years did we go from the promise of the Internet to democratize access to knowledge ... to this litany of daily horrors," Hany Farid says @EnergyCommerce.

A theory: the internet is disrupting the shit out of powerful social gatekeepers & they are fighting back.
Here's some evidence for that theory from my paper with @CaseyMattox_ about online free speech and antitrust:…
Must-read sources on this issue: Antitrust Prof. Ramsi Woodcock:…
Read 5 tweets
18 Feb 20
I'm on a panel at tomorrow's DOJ Workshop on Section 230. Here is my submission. A few highlights, including a story about my amazing 7-month-old daughter: 1/16…
First, Section 230 is a focused law that embodies a clear and conservative principle of individual responsibility. In the simplest terms, it says that individuals are responsible for their actions online, not the tools they use. 2/
Sounds obvious? That's because this is the normal way we do things in the U.S. We hold newspapers—not newsstands—liable for their words. Authors—not bookstores—accountable for their writings. So too do we hold social media users—not services—responsible for their words online. 3/
Read 16 tweets
21 Jan 20
This short essay has sparked a THREAD. One of the most formative books of my preteen years was James Gleick's "Chaos," about fractals, nonlinear systems, and other complex yet orderly systems. 1/?
Another was "Metamagical Themas" by Douglas Hofstadter, which talked about memes, strange attractors, self-referential systems, and complexity theory (among many other things). 2/…
I won a science fair in 8th grade with my demonstration of software I wrote to generate strange attractors. These books are why I went into computer science.

But in a way I never could have predicted, they have deeply influenced my worldview and my policy approach today. 3/
Read 13 tweets

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