According to statements issued on August 8 by both Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM) has requested an extended time period to review the merger transaction.
Marriott and Starwood have agree to the extension, the statements said, and the additional review period, refered to as "phase three", could last up to 60 days.
The statements from both hotel groups also added: “Marriott and Starwood continue to believe that their planned merger transaction poses no anti-competitive issues in China. Approval by China's Ministry of Commerce is the only remaining merger clearance required before the transaction may close.”
Marriott and Starwood have already received unconditional approval from regulatory authorities in over 40 countries, included the US, the EU, Chile, Colombia, India, Japan, Mexico, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, and Turkey.
Earlier this year, in March 2016, Chinese consortium of investors Anbang Insurance Group Co disrupted the proposed merger deal between Starwood and Marriott by proposing a cash counter bid to Starwood.
The offer was later rejected by Starwood, in favour of Marriott's original bid.