This Week in Germany


Hamburg fights back on Facebook’s WhatsApp data strategy

With Facebook’s German office being based in Hamburg, it was the city’s data protection commissioner Johannes Caspar who ordered Facebook to delete any data it has already harvested from Germany’s 35 million WhatsApp users. Besides the fact, that Facebook apparently didn’t ask for user’s permission, it also collects the data of neither Facebook nor WhatsApp user.

Rumours of the week: Spotify acquires SoundCloud

Berlin-based SoundCloud could shake hands with Spotify, Financial Times (paid) first reported. Reason could be that Spotify needs to stay on track before Apple Music gets too big. Having raised a total of $1.56 billion, including $1 billion debt financing, acquiring SoundCloud ($193 million investment) could help to larger the offer for its listeners.

Emmas Enkel shuts down online service

Having started in 2011, the idea of Emmas Enkel was to create small shops with a limited amount of products that clients can choose and get delivered to their homes. The idea seemed interesting to German giant retailer Metro Group, who took 15 percent in 2014. This summer, it bought even 93 per cent. In the meantime, the founders left the startup, and the three stores in Düsseldorf, Essen and Berlin were shut down and the business was moved to online shopping. Now, an email to customer says, the startup will shut down entirely. However, the brand will still exist, Metro says.
[Gründerszene] (German)

WirWinzer sold 66 percent of its business

Online wine marketplace WirWinzer sold 66 percent of its business to Hawesko, which is a wine trader group. The online marketplace lets wine producers sell to clients directly and leaves out the middleman. The shareholders and executives will stay on board. The price tag and other details have not been shared.

Image: Some rights reserved by Georgie Pauwels