Parent company Parlement Technologies announced on Monday that American musician Kanye West, who now goes by Ye, has reached a preliminary agreement to purchase Parler, the social networking site favoured by American conservatives.
The purchase is anticipated to finalise in the fourth quarter of 2022, according to Nashville-based Parler, which has raised approximately $56 million to date. It provided no deal value.
The 2018-released app Parler, which was withdrawn from the Google Play and Apple Inc. shops after the U.S. January 2021 riots at the Capitol. Gettr, Gab, and Truth Social are a few other social media sites that promote themselves as free-speech rivals to Twitter Inc. (TWTR.N).
As part of an overhaul, Parler established a new parent company, Parlement Technologies Inc., last month.
The business talks with Ye started recently, after Paris Fashion Week, according to Parlement Technologies Chief Executive Officer George Farmer in an interview with Reuters on Monday.
Ye, a fashion designer, wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt in Paris on October 3; four days later, he posted on Instagram comments that some Jewish organisations considered anti-Semitic. Ye’s Instagram account was restricted due to the posts by Instagram and Facebook owner Meta Platforms (META.O).
Ye next switched to Twitter, where he made his first message in two years on October 8; Twitter quickly locked his account.
According to CEO Farmer, the Parler agreement came together swiftly and Parlement was “given with an opportunity.”
Farmer declined to comment on whether the agreement has a break-up fee if either party ends it, stating that the conversation about Instagram barring him was the “motivating factor” for him.
Ye ended his partnership with clothing retailer Gap Inc. (GPS.N) in September, and German sportswear manufacturer Adidas (ADSGn.DE) announced on October 6 that it is reconsidering its business relationship with the rapper.
Farmer stated on Monday that he is not worried about Parler’s chances for advertising under Ye.
There are more advertisers who want to advertise in this space, Farmer said, so“I see this as a warning shot across the bow for companies that want to de-platform people.”
At the time of the announcement, Ye appeared to have joined Parler on Monday and had roughly 91 followers. He has 3,900 presently.
In a statement, he said, “In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”
Farmer says that 16.5 million people have signed up for Parler. The platform has reportedly had 11.7 million installations since its launch, and Apptopia believes that 40,000 people use it every day.
Ye is thought to be worth $2 billion by Forbes.
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