The European Commission (EC) has cleared the acquisition of
Starwood Hotels & Resorts by Marriott International, both of
the US. The Commission found that the takeover would not adversely
affect competition in Europe. Both companies are mainly active as
managers and franchisors of hotels worldwide. At global level, more
than 4,500 hotels in 85 countries operate under a Marriott brand
and about 1,300 hotels in nearly 100 countries under a Starwood
one. The Commission assessed the impact of the proposed acquisition
on competition in Europe in the market for hotel accommodation
services and in the markets for hotel management and hotel
For hotel accommodation services, the EC investigation focused
on the markets for 4 and 5-star hotels, in which both companies
have a significant presence. In particular, the Commission
investigated the impact of the proposed acquisition in five cities,
namely Barcelona, Milan, Venice, Vienna and Warsaw, where the
combined market presence of Marriott and Starwood was strongest. In
each of these cities, the merged entity will continue to face
effective competition from chain hotels and independent hotels.
For hotel management and hotel franchising services, the EC
investigated the impact of the proposed acquisition at the level of
the European Economic Area. The Commission found that the merged
entity would face effective competition in Europe from a number of
competitors on all those markets, including Accor, Hyatt, Hilton
The EC therefore concluded that the proposed acquisition would
raise no competition concerns. The transaction was notified to the
Commission on May 23, 2016.
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