Throughout the week we post dozens of original stories, connecting the dots across the travel industry, and every weekend we sum it all up. This weekend roundup examines digital trends.

For all of our weekend roundups, go here.

>>An Expedia acquisition of Thomas Cook? While problematic on many fronts, including buying all of those offline agents, it isn’t out of the question. Consider that Expedia would gain access to a customer base in Europe that it hardly touches. Expedia’s Barry Diller has made a ton of acquisitions. He and Okerstrom are hardly done yet: Expedia CEO: Mergers and Acquisitions Are Always on the Table

>>TripAdvisor still isn’t crazy about Google emphasizing its own travel businesses ahead of those of competitors. Still, in the wacky world of online travel marketing, metas will advertise in other metas when the financials work in their favor. User experience? It isn’t always the best: TripAdvisor Plays Meta on Meta Marketing Game With Google

>>Beijing-based Shiji serves more than 47,000 hotels outside of China. This is the first time it has spoken candidly with independent English-language media about its acquisition strategy. This year its subsidiaries have won deals with MGM Resorts, Radisson, and other major brands. Reading between the lines, it has big plans in the works: How Alibaba-Backed Shiji Is Expanding Its Tech Sales to Hotels Outside of China

>>Cvent is working methodically to expand its offerings in the small meeting space by acquiring Kapow and now Social Tables. Social Tables found success streamlining obvious pain points for planners, which is something Cvent can learn from: Cvent Buys Social Tables as Event Tech Consolidation Escalate

>>Diller is one of the godfathers of online travel and Expedia is probably among the top two travel advertisers in Google. Whether his comments will lead to lobbying or business practice changes, is today’s multibillion dollar question: Expedia’s Barry Diller Calls on Google to Be Regulated

>>Venture capital has awoken in a big way to the potential of vacation rental property manager: Vacasa Raises $64 Million More for Vacation Rental Management

>>TravelPerk’s funding further supports Skift’s 2018 Megatrend that companies are becoming more interested in booking systems that more directly serve business travelers: TravelPerk Raises $44 Million for Biz Trip Management: Travel Startup Funding This Week

>>When Google perfects vacation package search, this could be a very compelling product because some have tried, but few are doing it in any meaningful way. This is all part of Google’s steady and ongoing rise in the travel e-commerce ecosystem: Google Working on Solving the Pain Points in Vacation Package Shopping

>>Kiwi has grown fast without venture capital or marketing gimmicks. The online travel agency’s story shows what it takes for a startup to scale today. Its story also reveals the long shadows cast by the mighty travel conglomerates: Online Travel Agency Kiwi Has a Plan to Fight the Giants

Photo Credit: Expedia office in Indonesia Skift