At the moment the Marriott takeover is simply a mutually agreed proposal, it won't complete till mid 2016 so there can't be any cross brand recognition before then. If the past is any guide then recognition of Marriott Gold/Plat (ie arrival credit and room upgrades) could take place at SPG hotels within 2 or 3 months thereafter BUT this takeover presents the unique problem that Marriott is also taking over a very mature but different loyalty scheme and I doubt Marriott hotels will want to recognise SPG Gold or Plat 25s. Hence early recognition, if it happens, will be restricted to Marriott Plat/Gold and SPG Plat 50/75/100.
Arne has however made it clear, as has corporate in press announcements, that one of the big attractions of the purchase is the SPG loyalty program, or rather it's very loyal membership base and I doubt corporate will want its first act after takeover to be seen as immediately devaluing SPG Gold and Plat25 members so I suspect cross brand hotel elite recognition won't commence till early 2017 when Marriott will announce it as part of the integration process
Both of us, along with other members, have referred to the possible objections of (whatever) government department would have to this merger.
As an up date there was a discussion on this issue on one of the business networks recently. What the "experts" pointed out basically described why government approval is not a concern due to the industry (hospitality) and competition that is currently present in 90% of the U.S. Markets. They even joked that the government wouldn't make "waves" protecting competition in the 10% that "might" be subjected to anti-competition as it would be a misuse of the agency's time.
Of Course this all will become moot when the first legal action is filed by private companies to stall the transaction.
In reference to the head of my legal team in Manchester U.K. (Your retainer check is "in the mail" - )comments.
Referring to our close friend "Arne's" comments quoted in your earlier post, I offer an opinion.
In my experience, the most common complaint from my British business associates, is the distrust of verbal agreements made by Americans during negotiations. I have been told that we (American business executives) will tell you one thing and do the opposite necessitating detailed contracts.
I hope my integrity is higher than the description above. That said, when I read what Arne stated "one of the attractions of the aquisition is the SPG loyalty program," I believe that statement to be a "pacifier" to both program's concerned members.
I am confident that Arne forgot about the statement minutes after issuing (a trick he learned from politicians)
Oh, dear, I may have been fooled here, but I believed Arne as the SPG scheme is so very stong and Starwood has clearly set great store by it over the years.
Tthe hotel schemes do seem to be resurgent now. Over the past year all of the schemes have added functionality or value to their points based schemes, 2 stand-outs being IHG with its new Spire upper level and Marriott with its Fab-4 changes. There is much to chase here, online TA charges are very high giving the hotels and their chains a lot of money to be saved if they can persuade more reservations via their own systems. The loyalty programs are clearly seen as a major way of driving this behaviour and SPG is, certainly on FT, is very well liked, suggesting to me the scheme is something any acquirer would want to learn from.
Maybe I need to be more cynical here...
What one publishes is not necessarily what one knows or believes.
(I will keep your secret that you are much smarter than your efforts to convince us you are naive.)