European Union – Value added tax. Articles 4 and 17 of Sixth Council Directive (EEC) 77/388 should be interpreted as conferring on a company which intended to acquire all the shares of another company in order to pursue an economic activity consisting in the provision of management services subject to VAT to that other company, the right to deduct, in full, input VAT paid on expenditure relating to consultancy services provided in the context of a takeover bid, even if ultimately that economic activity had not been carried out, provided that the exclusive reason for that expenditure was to be found in the intended economic activity. The Court of Justice of the European Union so held in a preliminary ruling in proceedings concerning the Irish tax authority's refusal to grant Ryanair Ltd the deduction of input VAT relating to consultancy services provided to it in the context of a bid to takeover another company.