By Gareth Corfield
Elon Musk’s Twitter is being sued by the Crown Estate after allegedly failing to pay the rent on its London headquarters.
The estate, which belongs to the King, filed a claim against Twitter and its UK subsidiary in the High Court.
A Crown Estate spokesman said court proceedings had been issued in the dispute over Twitter’s UK headquarters in the West End.
The Crown Estate administers thousands of acres of Crown-owned land across the UK, including 10 million square foot of property in central London.
It comes after Musk, the world’s second-richest man, bought Twitter for $US44 billion ($62.6 billion) in October and made more than half its staff redundant. The job cuts, followed by a wave of resignations, has resulted in the departure of around 5,000 staff over the past three months. Twitter now employs around 2,300 people, according to Musk, down from 7,400 at the end of October.
Earlier this month staff at Twitter’s Singapore office were ordered to work from home after the company reportedly failed to pay its rent there on time. All Twitter signs and logos have been removed from its London headquarters in Air Street in Piccadilly Circus but a member of staff said the company still had a presence at the site. Although the social media company signed a lease for the third floor for £2.6 million ($4.6 million) per year in 2021, the dispute is believed to be over Twitter’s first floor office in the same building. It has occupied the first floor since 2014.
A spokesman for the Crown Estate said it had tried to contact Twitter about the alleged rent arrears. Twitter did not respond to The Telegraph’s request for comment.
Separately, Elon Musk announced a new advert-free subscription for Twitter, a week after 500 advertisers reportedly quit the social media website. The billionaire said in a tweet: “Ads are too frequent on Twitter and too big. Taking steps to address both in coming weeks.
“Also, there will be a higher priced subscription that allows zero ads”.
The announcement of the new subscription tier came after 500 companies gave up on advertising with the website over the past three months.
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Source: Thanks smh.com