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Here's What Airbnb Said In A Letter To Marriott's CEO

Here's What Airbnb Said In A Letter To Marriott's CEO

One of the key components to Airbnb's long-term success is being able to compete in an open and fair environment against major hotel chains. But now an ongoing feud with one of the largest hotel chains, Marriott International Inc (NASDAQ: MAR), shows the extent to which the competitive environment appears to be stacked against Airbnb.

What You Need To Know

Marriott's CEO Arne Sorenson told Fortune in an interview that Airbnb is "playing pretty aggressive" by spending "a lot of money on government affairs." Airbnb's head of public policy Josh Meltzer responded in a letter to Sorenson that was obtained by CNBC.

The letter accuses Marriott and the hotel industry of being guilty of "gouging consumers, depressing wages and replacing workers with robots." But more important, the letter alleges that Marriott received $1.73 billion in taxpayer subsidies from 2008 through 2017 — while the company earned a $4.6 billion from 2008 through 2016.

"I do hope you will tell American taxpayers more about these practices," Meltzer's letter said. "The men and women who have helped subsidize your business, along with the nearly $12.3 million you personally earned in 2016, deserve an explanation."

Why It's Important

Airbnb's feud with Marriott can be seen as a battle between a Silicon Valley "technology disruptor" against the "old, slow-moving" lodging industry, CNBC said.

What's Next?

Airbnb has been defending its business model for some time, as the hotel industry views the unicorn as a threat. For instance, an ad campaign sponsored by the Hotel Association of New York City depicted Airbnb as lodging for terrorists, CNBC also reported.

Related Links:

Will Airbnb Be The Next Tech Unicorn To IPO?

How Hotel Suites Can Compete With Airbnb And Vacation Rentals


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