Why was Adblock sold to Adblock Plus

Adblock Plus is now selling advertising banners - Hahahahahahaha

There are moments in the everyday life of an editorial team when you collapse together laughing in front of the monitor. One of those rare moments grabbed us in the course of the afternoon: Adblock Plus is now selling advertisements and doing business in a highly professional manner. Like a real advertising network, with around 100 million potential viewers of the supposedly “acceptable” advertising. With this, Cologne-based Eyeo GmbH finally opens its visor and reveals what its perfidious business model is actually about: a really thick piece of billions in advertising cake.

When we published our research on Cologne-based Eyeo GmbH and their browser plug-in Adblock Plus in June 2013, we were laughed at - or insulted by many long-time users of the software. Our allegations that the “open source project” was merely a strategically planned attack by some investors from the advertising industry on the billion-dollar advertising market seemed too absurd.

Adblock Plus: digital extortion of protection money

Early on, we suspected that Adblock Plus had the long-term goal of lucrative marketing of its own advertisements and that it would radically exploit the exclusive rights in the user's browser. The add-on - equipped with the appropriate authorizations and largely unnoticed by an average user - can in principle “do everything”.

Adblock Plus suddenly turns out to be a perfidiously designed back door that can be used as a blackmail tool for every website operator. Sascha Pallenberg, June 2013

How far the developers are going in this was shown over three years ago. At that time we discovered that Adblock Plus corrected “typos” in the address line and added so-called affiliate IDs unnoticed in order to collect the corresponding sales commissions in Amazon's international online shops. In the meantime, some audacity has been added, including automatic redirection to porn and scam sites of the nastiest kind, for the benefit of a large advertiser.

With the now self-marketed advertisements, the operators of Adblock Plus are finally raising their sights and ending their years of hide-and-seek. Apparently, after several acquisitions, the user base that now exists has reached a critical level and no longer has to act as the fighter for a better Internet within the industry, which is not too cooperative anyway. Of course, it reads a little differently in the official press releases at the start of the marketing platform, after all, you want to lose as few disturbed users as possible.

An online advertising market with billions in sales is waiting

According to the information available so far, Adblock Plus now does the following: the add-on, like a normal ad blocker, hides all advertisements on a website in a first step, so the operator - from the large portal to the small blog - loses all income. If a larger website such as Google has bought itself out for a fee in the millions, the advertisements classified as “acceptable” by Eyeo GmbH will be displayed despite the activated ad blocker. If a user also wants to put a stop to these advertisements, he must deactivate the corresponding option in the program's settings.

In the procedure that follows, Adblock Plus goes one step further: the add-on does not simply hide the advertising banners that are normally displayed; instead, it displays expensive adverts from its own advertising customers. For this “service” the operators want to secure around 20% of the advertising revenues achieved and thus finally mutate - as predicted - into an advertising network.

Digital protection racket in perfection, with 100 million, mostly ignorant users as the blackmail machine.

The prerequisite for the display of the advertisements is that the operator of a website who has been deprived of its revenues by the ad blocker decides to integrate the alternative advertisements made “kindly”. This is digital protection racketeering at its best, and every user of Adblock Plus participates in this system by installing the program.

According to the information available today, the partners in this perfidious game include, among others, AppNexus, Google's advertising network DoubleClick and the ad-tech company ComboTag, all of whom also want to secure a bit of the expected millions in sales.

In June 2016, the Higher Regional Court ruled that Eyeo GmbH, with its ad blocker and the underlying system of blocking and chargeable release lists, inadmissibly exploited its position of power over the user's head. Last month, the Hamburg Regional Court issued an injunction against the Cologne-based company because entries in the bulging blacklists suppressed the display of editorial content. The managing director Till Faida, the press spokesman Ben Williams and the legal representatives of the company had always emphasized during the ongoing proceedings that there was no competitive relationship with the plaintiff publishers and advertising networks. According to the current development, some courts in the following instances are likely to see it a little differently.

via fastcompany.com

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