The judgment was a surprise because it differs from the EU-advocates opinion (see similar case C-480/10). The advocate opined that a Finnish VAT group registration limitation only for the financial and insurance sector is against the EU VAT Directive.
According to ECJ`s decision this limitation that allows VAT groups only in the financial and insurance sector is not against the principle of neutrality. To the question raised by the commission that whether the limitation is against the principle of equal treatment, the Court did not answer because the commission had not invoked this in a preliminary complaint. So the question whether Finland and a number of other Member States have a right to limit the scope of the grouping rules without a clear qualifying rule under the VAT Directive is still open.
This judgment is a bad news to those companies or corporations in Finland that operate a business with restrictions on VAT deduction. As members of the same VAT-group can handle their mutual transaction without a VAT charge and so no VAT cost.
The EU-commission has not yet reported whether it is going to start a new process against the Finnish government and suggest that Finnish VAT-legislation is against the principal of equal treatment. Even though it is still likely that someday this question about Member States’ abilityto limit VAT-grouping only to certain sectors ends up in the ECJ in any case.