Elon Musk’s Twitter Faces Nine Lawsuits for Failing to Pay Bills

Musk has been missing monthly payments since he took over Twitter, but creditors are fighting back via the courts.

As Elon Musk’s personal wealth dwindles at record-breaking speed, the Twitter CEO is still refusing to pay Twitter’s bills — despite claiming the company is no longer in the “fast lane to bankruptcy”.

The missed bill payments, which amount to over $14 million, are leaving countless landlords, consultants, and vendors out of pocket, and are resulting in at least nine lawsuits being bought against the platform. 

Major offices in Asia, Europe, and the US have already been shuttered due to Musk's payment freeze, and little effort is being made to prevent further closures. Here’s what we know so far. 

Twitter Faces Nine Lawsuits for Failing to Pay $14M Worth of Bills 

Since Musk officially took the reigns at Twitter HQ, the serial CEO has stopped paying monthly bills in a shameless attempt to cut costs across the company.

After months of evading payments, a slew of landlords, consultants, and vendors have decided to take legal action, with the company currently facing at least nine lawsuits that seek to recover a total of  $14 million in unpaid bills.

According to the Wall Street Journal, three of the nine lawsuits involve disputes over Twitter’s office space, with one landlord alleging that the platform owes him over $6.8 million in back payments for its San Francisco headquarters. 

Other cases involve the US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A, which is seeking around $1.9 million for unpaid bills that have mounted since Musk’s acquisition in October of last year, and the marketing company Canary LLC which is pursuing debts of almost $400,000.

Included in Canary’s long list of invoices is a $6,784 “swag gift box” featuring a $689 bottle of whiskey and custom cheese board that was ordered for Musk before his arrival at the company.

Musk is Desperately Trying to Save Twitter from Bankruptcy

Avoiding bills is only one cost-saving initiative Musk has adopted since taking over the company.

After inheriting $13 billion in company debts last October, the former world’s richest man has been committed to “cutting costs like crazy”. As part of this tirade, Musk has made a series of rash decisions including shutting down offices across the globe, slashing employee benefits, and of course, firing approximately 5,000 of the company's workforce. 

Musk has also tried to diversify his revenue streams by charging $8 a month for Twitter verification with “Twitter Blue”, turning to venture capitalists to secure funding, and hosting a bizarre online garage sale where he auctioned off merchandise like Twitter’s neon bird and a La Marzocco coffee machine to the public.

Despite the Chief Executive’s best efforts to avoid bankruptcy, Twitter’s interest debts are $300m and climbing, and the company has yet to secure a sustainable profit-making strategy. But where does this leave Twitter’s creditors and employees?

The Human Cost of Musk’s Twitter Takeover 

As Twitter’s financial woes mount, and Elon Musk’s personal wealth shrinks by $182bn a year – breaking the Guinness World Record for ‘largest loss of personal fortune in history – it's unlikely the social media giant will be able to recover its debts anytime soon. 

However, while these remittances may just be a drop in the ocean for Musk, who currently still sits on an estimated net worth of $198.2bn, they have very real consequences for those who are still waiting to be paid.

A source looking to recover debts of hundreds of thousands of dollars told Axoisthey owe me the money, but then those dollars would go out to nearly 25 other people.”

This human cost extends to Twitter’s employees too. As bills remain unpaid, many landlords are considering blocking Twitter’s access to their buildings, including to the company’s Colorado and San Fransisco offices.

If these evictions take place, even more workers will be forced out of their offices and potentially out of their jobs, joining the ranks of former employees that were let go after their offices closed in Hong Kong, the Philippines, Mexico, and Ghana.

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Written by:
Isobel O'Sullivan (BSc) is a senior writer at Tech.co with over four years of experience covering business and technology news. Since studying Digital Anthropology at University College London (UCL), she’s been a regular contributor to Market Finance’s blog and has also worked as a freelance tech researcher. Isobel’s always up to date with the topics in employment and data security and has a specialist focus on POS and VoIP systems.
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