YOU ARE taking a business trip to Washington, DC, and need to book a hotel. You survey your options for good deals and amenities. There’s the W right by the White House, and the JW Marriott a block away. But you’ll be spending time at the convention centre, so it is worth considering the new Marriott Marquis there, as well as the nearby Renaissance. Then again, the Four Points and Courtyard have slightly better Metro access. Or you could treat yourself to somewhere posh, like the St. Regis on 16th Street or the Ritz-Carlton in Georgetown.

For now, at least some of these hotels will be vying with one another for your custom, so there ought to be reasonable deals and competitive service. But soon all of the above will be owned by the same company.

On Tuesday, Marriott cleared the final regulatory hurdle in its $13.6 billion takeover of Starwood Hotels and Resorts, creating the world’s largest hotel company. The deal was nearly derailed when Anbang Insurance Group, a Chinese conglomerate, made an all-cash offer that exceeded Marriott’s initial $12.2 billion bid, prompting a bidding war that ended this spring when Anbang pulled out. But the Chinese Ministry of...Continue reading