Compass Lexecon assists counsel from Gibson Dunn in obtaining global regulatory approval for Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood

Over the course of a 10 month case, Compass Lexecon assisted counsel from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP in securing required regulatory approvals in multiple countries for Marriott International Inc.’s merger with Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. This process culminated with the final required approval, by the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), allowing the merger to close in September, 2016.

As Marriott and Starwood are global hotel companies with interests around the world, the merger review involved scrutiny from competition authorities on six continents. Compass Lexecon worked with teams of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP lawyers in Washington, D.C., Brussels, and Hong Kong to provide economic analysis in response to questions from competition authorities in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the EU, South America, Asia, Africa and Australia. Compass Lexecon’s analysis showed that hotel and lodging competition would be robust in all geographies after the merger. In addition, Compass Lexecon showed that Marriott and Starwood hotels were often not close competitors with one another, and in the geographies where Marriott and Starwood hotels did compete with one another, remaining competition would be sufficient to constrain prices.

In this effort, Compass Lexecon expert Mark Israel was supported by a Compass Lexecon team led by Ian MacSwain in the Washington, D.C. office, and included Loren Smith, Yair Eliat, Georgi Giozov, Wei Tan, Benjamin Wagner, Bich Ly, Gloriana Alvarez, Benjamin Spulber, Chandni Raja, Jonathon McClure, Sanjana Parikh, Jackie Chen, and Rohini Sadarangani. In addition, Compass Lexecon expert Lorenzo Coppi, in Compass Lexecon’s London office, was supported by a team led by Laura Phaff and included Michael Scheidgen. Compass Lexecon worked closely with Joshua H. Soven and Joshua Lipton, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP.