Corporate Traveller

Marriott and Starwood one step closer to merger

Marriott has announced it has received unconditional clearance from the European Union's antitrust regulators for its acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

The approval puts Marriott and Starwood one step closer to completing the merger which has an estimated value of more than $13 billion.

The EU's regulatory body, the European Commission, focused on Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Vienna and Warsaw where both groups have a strong market presence.

Regulators confirmed the deal was an important merger for the hotel industry and would not reduce competitiveness for customers in Europe. 

The probe found the merged hospitality group which will put Marriott's brands, including Ritz-Carlton, together with Starwood's Sheraton and Westin chains, would still face adequate competition in the region against the likes of  Accor, Hyatt, Hilton and Intercontinental Hotels.

The completion of the transaction will create the largest hotel group in the world and is expected to be finalised next month. Currently the deal requires sign off from the remainder of international regulators, including China, and other customary closing conditions.  

Once the deal is completed the newly merged entity will control up to a third of all available rooms across 14 of the world's top 20 destinations, a position that will have significant implications for business travellers across the world looking to secure negotiated rates.

Until the merger is finalised, Marriott and Starwood will continue to operate as separate hospitality groups.

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