Kanye West Is No Longer Buying Twitter-Rival Parler

Parler, the self-proclaimed "unbiased social media" platform that has become a haven for conservative voices, is no longer getting acquired by rap mogul Ye, formerly known as Kanye West. The platform's parent company says it "mutually agreed with Ye to terminate the intent of sale of Parler." In October, Parlement Technologies announced that it reached an agreement with West to hand over ownership of the platform to the rap and fashion heavyweight.

When the deal was first announced, Parler's parent company announced bold plans of creating "an uncancelable ecosystem where all voices are welcome." To recall, Parler itself was banned by Apple over loose moderation policies. Parler was originally supposed to close the deal by the end of 2022, but that is no longer happening. Soon after the deal was announced, interest in the platform spiked, even though it never failed to match the audience level commanded by the likes of Twitter, TikTok, or Meta-owned Facebook.

However, the deal was always in peril. Notably, there was never an official confirmation of a formal agreement signed between the two parties, and language like agreeing to a buyout "in principle" and "intent of sale" didn't instill much confidence either. Plus, West's own financial fortunes have been in doldrums lately, as numerous brands have recently canceled their multi-million dollar deals owning to his problematic behavior. A bombshell Rolling Stones investigation revealed that West showed pornographic material to his employees at Yeezy and frequently engaged in bullying.

Why the deal fell part?

It's unclear whether West's recent controversies have anything to do with the Parler deal falling apart. In a statement shared with CNBC, Parler's owner notes that the "decision was made in the interest of both parties in mid-November." Parler says it will be on the lookout for the growth opportunities, without clarifying if it was looking for investors to scale up, or full-fledged buyers. The latter seems unlikely to happen, given the current state of layoffs in the tech industry and the looming fears of a recession.

Parlement Technologies reportedly had high hopes from its acquisition deal with Kanye West. Soon after the agreement press release went out, Parler sent out an email to its "VIP" users, offering them perks like a gold badge for being valuable personalities on the platform. Politico reports that the email campaign inadvertently revealed the personal contact information of nearly a dozen lawmakers and some well-known conservative personalities.

Citing an insider source, Axios reports that West's unstable financial situation following the cancellation of lucrative deals with the likes of Adidas played a role in his Parler plans falling apart. In the meanwhile, West has returned to Twitter, after his account was restricted for a few weeks ago over sharing anti-Semitic remarks. West currently has a huge follower base of over 18 million on Twitter, which dwarfs the total number of users on Parler, as of December 2021.