Marriott Completes Acquisition of Starwood Hotels & Resorts; Complex merger process begins with three Starwood directors joining Marriott board, linking of guest loyalty programs
Marriott International Inc. bought out Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide Inc. and the biggest benefit to us as consumers is that they will be joining their loyalty programs as well. The purchase was estimated to be $13 billion, which makes it now the worlds largest hotel company. There are a couple issues that come with this merger, like how do you differentiate the 30 different hotel brands together. Also how do you merge two different company cultures into one, or do you just leave it alone? Now since it will be the largest hotel company in the world it has the upper hand and can negotiate better terms with online travel agencies like Expedia. Marriot is known for there more conservative marketing approach but Starwood is more on the cutting edge and appeals more to the younger travelers. To off set the differences between the two corporations Marriott has agreed to add three Starwood directors to the Marriott board. Marriott’s loyalty program will remain the same and will be able to transfer points between the two companies. The difference is that three Marriott points will convert to one single Starwood point. This buyout was possible after a bidding war between a Chinese company and Marriot and the Chinese company ended up withdrawing their$14 billion dollar bid, which led to Marriott winning.