Kanye West deal for social media app Parler has been canceled
Parler said Thursday it is canceling plans to sell the conservative social media app to Ye by mutual agreement.
The rapper, formerly known as Kanye West, agreed to buy the app in October for an undisclosed amount.
It was unclear if the parties signed a formal merger agreement and the deal was rumored to be in trouble for some time.
The deal would have given Ye, like Elon Musk who bought Twitter, his own personal megaphone and a voice in how speech on social media is moderated. Ye said he would use Parler to make sure conservative viewpoints could be freely expressed.
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The announcement of the deal’s termination came hours after Ye made antisemitic remarks during an interview with Infowars host Alex Jones.
The remarks were the latest that have cost Ye several business partnerships including Adidas and driven him into a precarious financial situation.
“This decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November. Parler will continue to pursue future opportunities for growth and the evolution of the platform for our vibrant community,” Parler’s parent company Parlement Technologies said in a statement.
Ye does not have a big presence on Parler – about 55,000 followers – well short of the millions he has on Instagram and Twitter.
A source familiar with the situation told Axios that Ye’s financial situation — including the loss of his Adidas deal — played a role in the deal folding.
Parler, popular with the right wing and supporters of former President Trump, is rife with conspiracy theories about the election. It was booted offline after the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, but relaunched after an executive shake-up.
Parler faces stiff competition from a growing constellation of conservative apps, including Trump’s Truth Social, that were created amid allegations on the political right of censorship and suppression of conservative voices and viewpoints on mainstream social media platforms.