Twitter fears big EU tech payout to pacify lawmakers over data-slurping concerns

But hey, we're gonna blab about our lovely UK plumage

A fretful Twitter has told investors that it may be forced to shell out cash on IT infrastructure in Europe if the Safe Harbor pact between the EU and the US collapses.

The profit-shy company, which derives most of its revenues from advertising, revealed its fears in Twitter's annual report published on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, it said that sales in the UK more than doubled in 2014 to $140.3m from $66.5m a year earlier. Or, put another way, they remained flat in line with the outfit's total revenue growth for the 12 months ended 31 December.

The micro-blogging site, headed up by chief Dick Costolo, said that Blighty remained its biggest market for sales outside the firm's home turf in the U.S. Last year, the UK accounted for 10 per cent of Twitter's total worldwide revenue of $1.4bn as of 31 December 2014, the figures showed (PDF).

In 2013, it was in fact a similar picture, with British sales standing at 10 per cent of the company's global revenue of $664m.

"No individual country from the international markets contributed in excess of 10 per cent of the total revenue for the year ended 31 December 2012," Twitter said.

Under the "risk factors" heading in the annual report, Twitter warned that regulatory meddling from Brussels could hamper its ability to make more cash in the EU market:

[A] European Parliament Inquiry has recently indicated that it will recommend suspension of the EU – U.S. Safe Harbor Framework as part of this regulation [the overhaul of the 28-member-state bloc's 1995 Data Protection Directive].

We rely upon the EU – U.S. Safe Harbor Framework to transfer certain personal information of European Union residents to the United States, and revocation of the Safe Harbor Framework could require us to create duplicative, and potentially expensive, information technology infrastructure and business operations in Europe or limit our ability to collect and use personal information collected in Europe.

Last month, Twitter posted a loss of $557.8m for 2014. ®

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