Oracle has become the latest cloud provider that Twitter has refused to pay. This is despite Oracle’s co-founder and executive chairman investing $1 billion into the social media firm.
Business Insider reports Oracle is the latest Twitter vendor “to go months without being paid” for services rendered, according to unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Representatives for Oracle have reportedly started directly calling current and former Twitter employees in an attempt to collect on past-due invoices that are “well into the six-figure range.”
Twitter CEO Elon Musk and Oracle founder Larry Ellison are long-time friends, with the latter investing $1 billion into Musk’s $44bn takeover of Twitter.
Since he took over Twitter for $44 billion last year, Elon Musk has been looking to reduce the company’s IT footprint and costs, by reducing both cloud and on-premises IT resources.
The company has closed one of its three US data centers and reportedly exited another – with Musk’s other company Tesla taking vacated space in at least one of the sites. It has also cut back on server capacity, and fired IT and software workers that kept the service online.
Twitter has experienced a number of major outages since Musk took over.
In March, Twitter began a similar game of chicken with Amazon Web Services (AWS), reportedly refusing to pay its AWS bills for months. In retaliation, Amazon then refused to pay for the advertising it runs on the social platform, leading Twitter to pay at least some of what was owed. Twitter had been an AWS customer since at least 2020.
Earlier this month, it was reported Twitter was withholding payments due to Google as its contract comes up for renewal, potentially risking some services being shut off. The two companies seemingly ended the feud after high-level talks between Twitter’s new CEO Linda Yaccarino and Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian.
Twitter signed a contract with Google in 2018, and announced an expansion of its GCP footprint in 2021. The multi-year deal up for renewal reportedly spanned five years and was valued at more than $1 billion, with some $300 million due in 2023.
The Information has previously reported that Twitter had been seeking to renegotiate its contract with Google in recent months, following similar renegotiation attempts with Amazon and Oracle last year.