Marriott gets EU green light for Starwood deal

WASHINGTON — There is one less hurdle for Bethesda, Maryland-based Marriott International to clear in its proposed $13 billion acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Marriott has received unconditional approval for the merger from the European Union.

“This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers,” Margaret Vestager, EU Commissioner for Competition, said in a statement. “Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger.”

The merger still needs antitrust clearance from Chinese regulators.

U.S. regulators cleared the merger earlier this year, and shareholders of both companies have overwhelmingly approved the deal. Marriott expects the acquisition to close sometime this summer.

The deal will make Marriott the largest hotel operator in the world, bringing together chains like Ritz-Carlton, Courtyard and JW Marriott with Sheraton, Westin and St. Regis.

The combined companies will have more than 1 million hotel rooms at 5,700 hotel properties across the globe.

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