Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hilton could face criminal charges over corporate espionage

A federal grand jury is investigating whether Hilton Worldwide and a number of its former executives could face criminal charges in an ongoing legal battle with Starwood Hotels and Resorts over theft of ideas, the Wall Street Journal reports today.

The grand jury will look into whether the hotel group, which is owned by private equity firm Blackstone Group, used confidential documents and concepts taken from the rival operator by former Starwood executives who defected to Hilton and helped launch the hotel group’s Denizen brand.

Denizen was developed to rival Starwood’s W brand by Ross Klein, a former Starwood executive instrumental - along with his colleague Amar Lalvani who went with him to Hilton - in the development of W.


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