Kanye West Reportedly Agrees To Buy Social Media Platform Called Parler

American producer, rapper, and fashion designer Kanye West who now goes by Ye, has agreed in principle to buy Parler, the social media platform popular among US conservatives, parent company Parlement Technologies said on Monday.

Nashville-based Parler, which has raised about $56 million to date, said it expects the deal to close during the fourth quarter of 2022. It did not give a deal value.

Parler, which launched in 2018, has been reinstated on Google and Apple Inc’s app stores after being removed following the US Capitol riots in January 2021. Parler is one of several social media platforms, including Gettr, Gab and Truth Social, that position themselves as free-speech alternatives to Twitter Inc.

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“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves,” Ye said in a statement.

Ye’s Instagram and Twitter accounts have been restricted before, most recently this month when social media platforms removed his posts that online users condemned as anti-Semitic.

The American rapper had announced in 2020 that he would run for U.S. President in an apparent challenge to former U.S. President Donald Trump, but later pulled out.

Last month, Parler created a new parent company, Parlement Technologies Inc, as part of an overhaul.

In an interview with Reuters Monday, Parlement Technologies Chief Executive Officer George Farmer said the deal talks with Ye began recently, after Paris Fashion Week.

In Paris on Oct. 3, Mr. Ye, who is also a fashion designer, wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the phrase: “White Lives Matter.” Four days later, he made Instagram posts that several Jewish groups called anti-Semitic. Meta Platforms, which owns Instagram and Facebook, locked Mr. Ye out of his Instagram account for the posts, per Business World.

Mr. Ye then moved to Twitter, posting on Oct. 8 for the first time in two years; Twitter soon locked his account.

The Parler deal came together quickly, Mr. Farmer said, and Parlement was “presented with an opportunity.”

“The motivating factor with him was the discussion about Instagram blocking him.” Mr. Farmer declined to comment on whether the deal includes a break-up fee if either party terminates it.

Mr. Ye in September terminated his partnership with apparel retailer Gap Inc., while German sporting goods maker Adidas on Oct. 6 said it is reviewing its business partnership with the rapper.

Mr. Farmer said Monday he is not concerned about Parler’s advertising prospects under Mr. Ye.

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Sources: Inquirer.net, Business World

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