Twitter hasn’t paid Oracle in months even though Larry Ellison is an investor and one of Elon Musk’s closest friends

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  • Elon Musk has left numerous vendors and landlords unpaid since taking over Twitter.
  • Oracle is the latest company to try and collect on past-due Twitter bills.
  • Larry Ellison, an Oracle cofounder, is Musk’s fellow billionaire and longtime friend.

Even Elon Musk’s close friend and financial backer Larry Ellison isn’t safe from the Twitter owner’s refusal to pay various bills and expenses.

Oracle, the company Ellison cofounded and where he remains its chair and chief technology officer, is the latest Twitter vendor to go months without being paid for services rendered, according to two people familiar with the company.

Representatives for Oracle have started directly calling current and former Twitter employees in an attempt to collect on past-due invoices well into the six-figure range, the people said. Oracle has for several years provided Twitter with data-storage services, one of the people added.

Musk, who took over Twitter at the end of October, has refused to pay numerous companies and vendors over the past several months, including Google and Amazon for cloud services and a public-relations firm, as well as landlords across the US, Europe, and Asia, as Insider reported.

Stiffing Oracle is more of a surprise given Musk’s close personal and financial relationship with Ellison. Ellison and Musk are longtime friends, and Ellison put $1 billion toward Musk’s $44 billion takeover of Twitter, making him one of the largest investors in Musk’s Twitter, officially part of X Holdings Corp. Ellison has frequently been one of Musk’s most vocal supporters and was previously on the board of Tesla, Musk’s electric-car company. 

Representatives for Twitter and Oracle did not respond to requests for comment.

Musk sometimes uses a blatant refusal to pay as a negotiation tactic, The New York Times reported. The results have been mixed. Google just renegotiated the terms of its deal with Twitter. Meanwhile, Twitter and Musk now face several lawsuits from landlords and other vendors who want to be paid.

With so many unpaid creditors, Musk runs the risk of Twitter ending up in involuntary bankruptcy.

While relatively rare, if at least three unpaid Twitter creditors join together, they can bring a case before a bankruptcy judge and demand that the company refusing to pay them be put into Chapter 7 or Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings. A judge then decides whether to proceed with a bankruptcy process.

Ellison may have advised Musk on his Twitter takeover and his dramatic dealings with the company as he attempted to get out of the deal. Ellison was subpoenaed as part of Twitter’s lawsuit to force Musk into acquiring the company for the agreed-upon price. Musk gave up on the suit in the fall just before it went to trial, and he went through with the purchase of Twitter.

Since then, the billionaire has whittled down Twitter’s staff by 90% and banished perks, bonuses, and many benefits, Insider has reported. He’s also scared off advertisers that were the source of nearly all of Twitter’s revenue.

Linda Yaccarino, NBCUniversal’s former ads chief, just started as Twitter’s CEO and is attempting to rebuild the company’s ads business. While Musk relinquished the CEO title, he remains in charge of all of Twitter’s tech, product, and engineering.

Despite cutting costs and shirking vendors, Musk has spent many millions of dollars laying the groundwork for an artificial-intelligence project, as Insider reported, and is now trying to build up Twitter’s video capabilities.

Are you a Twitter employee or someone else with insight to share? Contact Kali Hays at [email protected], on the secure-messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267, or through Twitter DM at @hayskali. Reach out using a nonwork device.

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