I saw an article (sorry was on my phone don't have the link) that Marriott signed a deal for Expedia to become the exclusive wholesale/third party online provider.
1. Why would anyone book via third party when Marriott guarantees best rate on its website and you get rewards benefits when booking direct.
2. Why does Marriott deem this necessary? What is the benefit to them? I would think they would want traffic directly on their website.
I've always been baffled by people booking third party. I'll sometimes use their search engines for flights before going direct to the carrier but I see no reason why you wouldn't want to deal directly with the company. This reminds me of a thread on here recently when someone was complaining that Marriott customer service wouldn't help them... come to find out they booked via third party so there was no way for Marriott CS to help them.