The completion of the merger of Marriott International and Starwood Hotels & Resorts, which will create the world's largest hotel company, is being delayed by China.
The two companies have announced that at the request of the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (MOFCOM), they have agreed to extend the time period for MOFCOM to complete its review of the merger transaction, for up to 60 days.
In a joint statement, they said: "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."
Regulatory authorities in more than 40 countries, including the US, the European Union and Canada, have already given the go-ahead to the deal, which will see Marriott paying $13.6b (£9.5b) for Starwood's portfolio of 1,300 hotels.
The combined companies will create a hotel giant of 1.1 million rooms across more than 5,500 hotels, involving 30 brands.