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Marriott will take control of competitor Starwood Hotels & Resorts in a US$12.2 billion deal which will create the world's largest hotel company with some 5,500 hotels in more than 100 countries.
The deal is expected to close in mid-2016 and will see Starwood's extensive brand family including Sheraton, Westin, W, St Regis and Le Méridien folded under the Marriott umbrella.
It's not yet known how this will impact Starwood's SPG loyalty program and Starpoints reward currency in the longer term, as combining rewards schemes is a notoriously difficult endeavour.
Marriott Rewards has 54 million members, while Starwood Preferred Guest sees 21 million members on the books.
A statement issued by Marriott said the merger would combine "Starwood's leading lifestyle brands and international footprint with Marriott's strong presence in the luxury and select-service tiers, as well as the convention and resort segment."
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