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Anti-virus firm McAfee is move its European headquarters from The Netherlands to the Republic of Ireland. Lower corporate tax rates - 12 per in Ireland compared to 34 per cent in Netherlands - inspired the exodus, which could take place as early as Q1 2005.

Symantec, McAfee's chief competitor, moved its technical support team from The Netherlands to Ireland about two years ago. In McAfee's case, Dublin or Cork are the preferred locations for the new HQ.

McAfee's Amsterdam staffers were told of relocation plans by CFO Stephen Richards last week. Dutch labour laws require the approval of a works council for such relocations. Staff expect the works council will only consider the strong business case behind the move. So it is highly likely to OK the move. "Since all EMEA/APAC revenue runs through Amsterdam the savings would be considerable. The office in The Republic would also be cheaper to run," one McAfee staffer told El Reg.

McAfee workers will be offered relocation or redundancy packages as well as a 'business continuity bonus' (likely to amount to a month's salary) to keep them sweet about the proposed relocation. According to Dutch paper Het Parool, the move could lead to the loss of 81 jobs in McAfee's Amsterdam office, which will continue to be the base of the company's marketing and sales activities in Europe. McAfee set up shop in the Netherlands in 1995.

In slightly related news, McAfee formally changed its name from Network Associates after the sale of its Sniffer network performance tools business to new firm Network General went through last week. ®

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