Adblock Plus is one of the most popular add-ons for various internet browsers in existence today. Millions use it to avoid intrusive advertising. But the company behind AdBlock Plus, Eyeo, has come under fire for some controversial additions they have made to the program. They have added a white-list of sites that are not affected by the ad blocker by default. And they are asking for money to be added to the white-list. Many marketing companies have decried this as blackmail, and now two companies in Germany have filed suit against Eyeo.
ProSiebenSat.1 Media and the RTL Group have filed suit in the Munich District Court against Eyeo for an illegal business practice. And they say that other media groups like Chip Online and Focus Online are also considering action against Eyeo. But a spokesman for Eyeo, Ben Williams, denied any action has been taken against AdBlock Plus. I’m not sure how he could have missed a legal suit however.
Many larger sites have paid money to AdBlock Plus to be included on their white-list. Google is amongst them. But the option to allow some non-intrusive advertising is still under the control of the individual user at the moment. All you have to do is go into AdBlock Plus and take the check mark out of the box that allows the ads from the white-list. If pressure is applied by the white-list sites, you have to wonder how much longer this will remain true, and if alternative adblocking add-ons will start to become more popular. There is already a fork of AdBlock Plus without the white-list called AdBlock Edge.