After telecoms providers had complained of strict conditions to buy high-speed data frequencies, industry lobbies joined the tribulation choir, saying the rules are too tame. They fear dead zones.
The Mittelstand is investing in German startups in the hopes of learning from its younger, more nimble peers. Meanwhile, the startups are hoping to tap the Mittelstand's deep pockets.
Germany's Zwilling has been making knives for 287 years, but sales continue to rise with their expansion into cookware and embrace of social media.
After more than 40 years at the Bahlsen company, Werner Bahlsen is handing over the day-to-day business to a management team. But he is still devoted to sweets.
Jungheinrich has been making electric forklift trucks for 60 years. Demand is still strong but it faces a two-pronged problem: future battery supplies and increasing competition from automakers.
The small German Mittelstand firm Interstuhl has placed 70 chairs it designed in three James Bond films. Sit on that.
British soccer club Manchester United has been gaining a reputation for lucrative but sometimes bizarre commercial partnerships. The latest involves German family-owned coffee firm Melitta.
Germany's family-owned businesses are increasingly moving to part-family, part-public ownership to raise cash and improve governance without giving up control.
Many mid-size German companies still can't plug into high-speed internet networks, which are vital for their business. The government is responding but critics say not fast enough.
Companies often have a miserable Internet connection - not just in the countryside. Without adequate data speeds, they are at risk of falling behind in global competition.