Twitter snub to Tech City

Steve Dinneen
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TWITTER will establish an international office in Dublin, in a move that has been seen as a snub to London’s flagship Tech City project.

The microblogging site follows the lead of web giants including Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Intel in taking advantage of Ireland’s generous tax system.

Its headline rate of corporation tax is just 12.5 per cent – compared to 26 per cent in the UK – but companies are also lured by rules allowing them to easily transfer funds to offshore locations, provided they have a base of operations there.

Analysts say Twitter could save the equivalent of 16 per cent on its corporation tax bill by locating in Dublin, rather than London. The tech industry has become a major Irish employer, with Google alone carrying a workforce of some 2,200.

The move was hailed by the Irish inward investment agency as a further sign of the country’s status as the internet capital of Europe.

A Twitter spokesman said: “The office in Dublin, our third location outside of the US, is a great next step in the company’s global expansion.”

A UK department for business spokesman declined to comment.

Twitter is one of the hottest of the new breed of internet giants, with a round of funding in the summer valuing it at more than $8bn (£5.2bn).

Its advertising revenue is understood to have risen to well over $100m, as the popularity of the site continues to soar.

Tech City, which encompasses developments at Old Street and Stratford, is home to promising start-ups including Last FM, Huddle, Yammer and SoundCloud but is yet to attract a blockbuster name.