SARS-CoV-2 cell-cell fusion and syncytiation is an emerging pathomechanism in COVID-19, but the precise factors contributing to the process remain ill-defined. In this study, we show that metalloproteases promote SARS-CoV-2 spike protein-induced syncytiation in the absence of established serine proteases using in vitro cell-cell fusion assays. We also show that metalloproteases promote S2 '-activation of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and that metalloprotease inhibition significantly reduces the syncytiation of SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. In the presence of serine proteases, however, metalloprotease inhibition does not reduce spike protein-induced syncytiation and a combination of metalloprotease and serine protease inhibition is necessitated. Moreover, we show that the spike protein induces metalloprotease-dependent ectodomain shedding of the ACE2 receptor and that ACE2 shedding contributes to spike protein-induced syncytiation. These observations suggest a benefit to the incorporation of pharmacological inhibitors of metalloproteases into treatment strategies for patients with COVID-19.