The Crown Estate is suing Twitter for allegedly not paying the rent on its London headquarters.
The estate, which looks after King Charles III’s property, brought a lawsuit against the micro-blogging platform in the capital’s high court. According to the BBC, the alleged rental arrears include office space in downtown London close to Piccadilly Circus.
The court proceeding was reportedly due to “rental arrears” on the social networking platform’s office space in the city, according to The Crown Estate, which controls a property portfolio worth £15.6 billion, including 241 properties in central London.
Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, took control of Twitter in October 2022. He purchased the micro-blogging platform for USD 44 billion (£36 billion) and immediately began drastically reducing the firm’s 7,000-member-strong workforce (about 50%).
Issues with Elon Musk’s takeover include a chaotic relaunch of the blue tick program for verified users that resulted in several impostor accounts and advertisers leaving the network due to worries about an increase in hate speech.
More than 500 clients stopped making purchases, and well-known companies like Audi and Pfizer stopped running advertisements. This caused a 40% loss in revenue for the company.
The crown estate contacted the social media company regarding alleged rental arrears at its office premises before legal action was taken.
Although the portfolio belongs to the king, the estate is one of the biggest landowners in the UK and is not considered private property.
In exchange for the sovereign grant, which is given to the king, the estate’s income is transferred to the Treasury for use by the government.
The news comes amid another disturbing update in January 2023, which stated that advertising spending on Twitter dropped by 71% in December. The data from an advertising research firm showed only reiterated the anxiety of big corporate houses about Elon Musk’s way of running the business on the micro-blogging platform.
The social media platform has introduced a slew of initiatives like offering some free ads, lifting a ban on political advertising and allowing companies greater control over the positioning of their ads, in order to win back the trust of big corporates.
Ad spending on Twitter in November 2022 fell 55% from 2021 despite these months witnessing a lot of promotional spending from brands on social media ahead of the Christmas and New Year festivities.
Most of the companies had stopped spending in November, estimates by another research firm Pathmatics showed, immediately after Elon Musk restored suspended accounts and launched the much-debated “Twitter Blue”.
Fourteen of the top 30 advertisers on Twitter stopped all advertising on the platform after Elon Musk took charge on October 27, said Pathmatics.
In a November 2022 event on Twitter Spaces, Elon Musk addressed the issue of companies pausing ads and said that he understands if advertisers “want to give it a minute.”
However, he had also blamed activist groups for pressuring advertisers to pull ads on the social media platform. Ad sales account for about 90% of Twitter’s revenue.
Twitter’s fourth-quarter revenue fell about 35% year over year due to a slump in advertising, as per the reports from the Information.