Commune Hotels & Resorts and Destination Hotels are the latest hospitality companies to merge. The two privately held firms on Friday announced they completed a deal to create the largest independent operator of boutique hotels—properties that focus on design and often appeal to a younger crowd. The combined company has 92 hotels in seven countries and $2 billion in property-management revenue. In a cross-border transaction last month, French lodging giant Accor SA agreed to acquire FRHI Holdings Ltd., the Toronto-based parent company of Fairmont, Raffles and Swissotel brands. The deal valued the company at more than $3 billion. Driving much of the deal activity is the negotiating power that comes with mass scale, which could be the most effective way for hotel operators to fend off rising competition from tech-oriented companies that have been eating into hotel profits over the past decade, analysts say. Get the full story at The Wall Street Journal