Marriott CEO Arne Sorenson said he believes Starwood’s brands will remain intact, even adding that he expects Marriott will “meaningfully accelerate growth” of the brands. The two companies have a combined 30 brands between them, including one Starwood announced at the end of October. Sorensen said Marriott will finalize a brand strategy in the coming months. Companies also are nearing the end of their corporate rate negotiations with hoteliers, meaning Monday’s news likely will have no effect on their 2016 contracts. “The timing could not appear to be worse, as we are in the middle of hotel (sourcing) season,” said GoldSpring Consulting partner Neil Hammond, “but we probably won't see any disruption to negotiations as the 2016 season will be over before any post-merger changes are determined.” For future request for proposal rounds, however, the Marriott-Starwood merger could add to an already difficult negotiating climate. Earlier this year, the New York University School of Professional Studies Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism released an analysis that said travel buyers would face the largest hotel rate increases in three decades in 2016. Get the full story at Business Travel News Read also "Marriott CEO promises ‘hugely positive’ loyalty program with no specifics" at Skift