The European Union (EU) has unconditionally approved US-based lodging company Marriott International’s proposed acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide.

Starwood is a hotel and leisure company and has nearly 1,300 properties in around 100 countries.

The company currently employs around 188,000 people at its owned and managed properties.

Marriott International currently has around 4,500 properties in 87 countries and territories.

European Commission competition commissioner Margaret Vestager said: "This is an important merger for the hotel industry and its customers.

"Our investigation confirmed that the hotel sector will remain competitive for customers in Europe following the merger, so I am pleased that the Commission was able to clear the transaction quickly."

The closing of the proposed acquisition is, however, subject to receiving additional antitrust clearances, including in China, and satisfying other customary closing conditions that are in the merger agreement.

Until the completion of the deal, both Marriott International and Starwood will continue to operate as separate and independent entities.

In April this year, shareholders of both the companies approved proposals related to the transaction, which is expected to be closed by next month.

At closing of the deal, Starwood stockholders will receive 0.8 shares of Marriott common stock in addition to $21.00 in cash for each share of Starwood common stock.

Both the companies have already cleared the pre-merger antitrust review in the US and Canada and various other jurisdictions.