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German court hands Springer partial victory in ad-blocking case

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Ralph Elliot

View photosMoreThe logo of the German publisher Axel Springer is seen outside its headquarters in Berlin in this August 7, 2013 file photo.

REUTERS/Thomas Peter

COLOGNE, Germany Reuters - A German court on Friday handed publisher Axel Springer a partial victory on Friday in its fight against so-called ad-blockers, which users can install on computers or mobile devices to prevent advertising from being shown.

But said it did not have objections to ad-blockers as such, confirming earlier rulings.

Eyeo said it would appeal against the ruling, which it said depended on "an obscure, newly passed statute in German unfair competition law".

Springer hailed the ruling as a victory over what it called an "unacceptably aggressive business practice".

As of March, 419 million people, or 22 percent of the world's 1.9 billion smartphone users, were blocking ads on the mobile web, according to Dublin-based analytics and advisory firm PageFair, which develops "ad blocker-friendly" advertising.

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Ralph Elliot
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