Which suitor of P&O Princess will win its hand? The competition between Carnival, which has launched a hostile acquisition bid, and Royal Caribbean, which, in conjunction with P&O Princess management, has proposed its own marriage plans, gets ever-murkier. Carnival today officially received the regulatory go-ahead from the European Union, a decision that was forecasted earlier this week. Also as reported the decision is completely unconditional, which means Carnival will not, as had been rumored, be required to divest itself of a European-based line to get the EU’s approval.
What happens next? The really big event for both proposed deals is going to be getting approval from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which is in investigating the possibilities as we speak. A decision is expected in mid-September. Based on that final step, P&O shareholders then get to make the final decision.