EU Grants Marriott Antitrust Clearance on Starwood Merger

marriott and starwood antitrustMarriott International, Inc. and Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide have announced that the European Union has granted unconditional clearance for the merger between the two hotel companies. 

The closing of the proposed merger is still subject to additional antitrust clearances, including in China, Marriott said. Until the legal close of the deal, the two companies will continue to operate as separate and independent entities. 

Stockholders of both companies approved proposals related to the merger on April 8. Marriott and Starwood said they plan to close the transaction this July. 

In terms of what the merger will mean for the two companies’ hotels, earlier this year Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson told us that plans are for the two companies to keep all of their luxury hotel brands

Marriott’s luxury brands include Ritz-Carlton, Bulgari, Edition and Autograph, while those for Starwood include St. Regis, The Luxury Collection and W Hotels. Sorenson told us that the demographics for luxury travel are positive for the long term, so the two companies want to keep as many strong brands in the space as possible while still delivering distinct experiences. 

The deal is set to create the world’s largest hotel company, as well as the world’s largest hotel loyalty program. 

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