Marriott and Starwood Merger??

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Carol Phillips

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Advocate
Dec 28, 2014
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Living in a hole as I do, I had no clue this was even being discussed ..... my thoughts turn to the ramifications if approved...


Marriott and Starwood pass regulatory hurdle for mega merger
The deal to create the world's largest hotel group has passed an important regulatory hurdle.

The mandatory waiting period in the proposed merger has expired, paving the way for Marriott International to complete its takeover of Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

There were no antitrust challenges from the US Federal Trade Commission or the Competition Bureau of Canada, allowing the transaction to continue unopposed.

The two companies continue to cooperate with authorities around the world to gain various approvals for the transaction.

Both Marriott and Starwood said they will hold separate stockholder meetings as planned on March 28 to formally approve the deal.

Subject to all the regulatory approvals and completion of Starwood's ongoing divesture of its vacation ownership unit, the transaction is expected to close by the middle of 2016.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

 
Dec 12, 2014
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Marriott announced the merger last fall primarily to help them attract Millennials who are currently more loyal to Starwood properties. When the merger was announced, many of the Starwood road warriors expressed concern about a loss of benefits & points, but nothing has been announced about what the new combined rewards system will look like.

I am not surprised that the merger did not attract any FTC attention since the combined company will control around 14% of the US market & less than 10% of the worldwide market.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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I'm a Hilton/InterContinental person, so the only thing this means to me is that the big hotel chains will start gobbling each other up and ... sigh ... room rates will go higher. They'll leave the loyalty programs alone ... for a while, then start to decimate them. Worked for the airlines, why should the hotels miss out on this bonanza?
 
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Mike

Oct 1, 2014
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I view Starwood points as triple in value to Marriott points. I can get a decent Starwood hotel for 10,000 points. Similar quality at Marriott costs 30,000. BIG difference.

My next fee is going to be due on the next bill. I'll surrender the card then. I'll keep the points until I see what is going to happen to them in the program. If bad, I will convert them to airline points and be done. If not so bad, I'll reapply for the card (or its replacement) and likely get first year free and maybe even a sign-on bonus. my gold status is not tied to that card. If it was and I used Starwood often I might pay the fee and stay.
 
Dec 12, 2014
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Mike,
While you can redeem Starwood points at a lower rate than Marriott, you also earn at a lower rate (3 per dollar versus 10 per dollar for elites), so they really are fairly close in value
 
Mar 4, 2016
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Mike,
While you can redeem Starwood points at a lower rate than Marriott, you also earn at a lower rate (3 per dollar versus 10 per dollar for elites), so they really are fairly close in value
rbrunson, while the point ratio you highlight is accurate, that earning rate is only applicable to points earned for stays at both program's hotels. The reality of point conversions while comparing both programs for other awards is significantly different. Outside of points earned for hotel stays, using either a Marriott branded Visa card or a Starwood branded American Express card for all purchases would both earn 1 hotel point for each dollar charged. For those of us who regularly convert hotel program points to airline program FF miles, the difference in these two programs are HUGE.

Example: Say I want to convert either hotel program points into Delta or American (or many other) airline FF miles. Let's say I want the conversion to yield 25,000 miles into an airline account. It would require 70,000 Marriott points but would only require 20,000 Starwood points. If both programs yield 1 point for each dollar spent on either card, the difference in earned rewards conversion is staggering. Converting Starwood points to airline miles is even better than using that specific airlines branded card to earn miles, as they both offer 1:1 earnings ratio, but Starwood bonuses an extra 5,000 miles for each 20,000 mile conversion.

I will guarantee you that Marriott will do away with this huge Starwood benefit as quickly as they possibly can when determining the blending of both award programs after the merger.

And that's the real and direct damage done to the consumer in a gobble-up merger such as this one.
 
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