Twitter has resumed paying its Google Cloud bills, after pausing payments while it tried to negotiate lower fees.

Bloomberg reports the Elon Musk-owned social media firm is again paying the cloud provider for its services and has ‘patched up the relationship’ between the two companies after a period of strain.

– Sebastian Moss

Earlier this month, reports surfaced that Twitter was withholding payments to Google Cloud as its contract comes up for renewal, potentially risking some services being shut off.

Twitter’s new chief executive officer, Linda Yaccarino, is credited with getting the relationship back on track, according to a person familiar with the situation.

Yaccarino has spoken directly to Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian, and the two companies are now exploring a 'broader partnership' that could include advertising and Google’s use of Twitter’s API.

Musk is said to be supportive of the new direction in the relationship.

Twitter signed a contract with Google in 2018 and expanded its GCP footprint in 2021. Twitter was reportedly due to pay Google some $300 million in 2023, as part of a multi-year deal worth around $1 billion, that was up for renewal at the end of June.

Reports said Google could not get through to Musk to discuss the unpaid bills, and went as far as attempting to reach him through his other firm, SpaceX, also a GCP customer.

Twitter has reportedly been ‘scrambling’ to cut costs by moving services off Google Cloud before the contract ends on June 30, but this process was taking longer than expected. Systems under threat of being cut off included those dedicated to fighting spam and removing content featuring child sexual abuse, extremism, and gore.

The Information previously reported that the company has been seeking to renegotiate its contract with Google in recent months, following similar renegotiation attempts with Amazon and Oracle last year.

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.

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