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Daily Mail (Case 81/87, 27 September 1988)

Daily Mail was a tax-law case. Daily Mail plc wanted to move its de facto head office (tax residence) to the Netherlands because of the more favourable tax regime there, while at the same time it planned to remain a company subject to UK company law. The UK Treasury Department refused permission for the transfer of seat, which is necessary under UK law.

EC law implications

Because of the refusal of the UK Treasury Department to allow the transfer of the de facto head office, Daily Mail referred the question to the ECJ, whether Articles 43 and 48 EC Treaty preclude a member state from obstructing the transfer of the de facto head office from a member state.

Decision of the court

The ECJ concluded that this issue falls outside the scope of the Treaty provisions on freedom of establishment. Moreover, the Court added obiter dictum some comments regarding several conflicts of law questions. The Daily Mail judgment was recently confirmed by the Cartesio decision (see below).

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