« | Home | »

My Own Private Delaware

Tags: |

The unassuming official home of Twentieth Century Fox, Kentucky Fried Chicken and 200,000 other companies

Hollywood loves a movie about a maverick individual taking on the might of a giant corporation – think of films like Erin Brockovich, Public Enemy or The Insider – but one breed of behemoth is unsurprisingly immune from scrutiny. Hollywood’s ‘big six’ studios – Paramount (a subsidiary of Viacom), Twentieth Century Fox (News Corporation), Columbia (Sony), Warner Brothers (Time Warner), Universal (General Electric) and Disney – may have their principal place of business in California, but they’re all incorporated in Delaware.

Delaware, the first state to ratify the US Constitution, is also the world’s leading tax haven, thanks to its generous provision of such perks as corporate opacity, banking secrecy, company redomiciliation and protected cell companies. Last year, 200,000 companies, including Fox, Universal and Warner Bros, as well as Coca-Cola, Ford, Kentucky Fried Chicken and two-thirds of the Fortune 500, were registered at the same single-storey address: 1209 North Orange Street, Wilmington.

Just as being based in Delaware helps Chevron, for example, minimise the taxes it pays in Algeria, Angola, Brazil, Argentina and Alaska, so it helps Fox avoid sharing the profit from films like Avatar with the state of California. This shouldn’t go down well with California’s state employees who are being forced to take three days unpaid holiday every month. Yet even as Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ‘state of emergency’ shifts the multi-billion-dollar budget deficit burden to citizens, Hollywood’s reaping the benefits of tax-code changes last year that hand hundreds of millions in tax credits to movie studios. Don’t expect to see ‘Last Exit to Wilmington’ coming to a screen near you any time soon.

Comments on “My Own Private Delaware”

  1. Captain Pants says:

    Last Exit to Wilmers?

    It’s also where LRB USA is incorporated. For the very same reasons. Keep up the good work.

  2. Geoff Roberts says:

    Surely there’s some altruistic motive for this? No? Then it must be a tax haven. No different to any other big corporation.

Comment on this post

Log in or register to post a comment.


  • Recent Posts

    RSS – posts

  • Contributors

  • Recent Comments

    • woll on Towards Beachy Head: polling figures on numbers who support or oppose brexit seem to vary. a recent poll in the independent puts those in oppisition in a clear majority: h...
    • andrewjmc on Why did Labour MPs vote with the government?: With reference to the support of working class Labour supporters in Brexity areas: Professor John Curtice, who's generally believed to know a thing or...
    • alpan on When Yes Means No: Ayşe Zarakol is generally on point, though I'm not sure what is gained by labeling the whole event a "foregone conclusion." Buna ne gerek vardı ger...
    • andrewjmc on May’s Gambit: @semitone: Professor John Curtice doesn't think you're right about Labour voters in Leave constituencies voting 'Leave'. He thinks it may be a politic...
    • Nick on May’s Gambit: There is also the timing of the Brexit negotiations themselves. Those around the Cabinet table may have started out by believing their own rhetoric, ...

    RSS – comments

  • Contact

  • Blog Archive

Advertisement Advertisement