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Adblock Plus Fends Off Court Action for the Sixth Time

Adblock Plus Fends Off Court Action for the Sixth Time

Eyeo, the creator of one of the most popular ad blockers in Europe, has defended its business model in court for the sixth time.

A case lodged by German publishing giant Spiegel Online against Eyeo’s Adblock Plus was dismissed by the Hamburg Regional Court last Friday (November 25). This follows positive results off the back of three suits in 2015 and a further two this year, with Axel Springer accounting for half of these.

While exact reasons for the latest conflict are yet to surface, Eyeo has followed its trend of blogging after a court victory by declaring the blocking of ads “legal”.

Several media firms have voiced their disapproval of the company and its product, which syphons revenue from publishers by blocking certain types of ads before they can enter the user’s view. 

Perhaps more controversially, the group also has a whitelist for allowing companies like Google to allegedly pay to have their ads seen, as well as its very own ad server.

Evading action

Although Germany has represented hostile ground for Eyeo, headquartered in Cologne, Adblock Plus has emerged from virtually nowhere over the last three years to become an enemy to numerous publishers worldwide.

Advertising associations have also leapt on the offensive to preserve the reputation of their members. In the US, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has prevented Eyeo reps from attending its events, with CEO Randall labelling AdBlock Plus as a tool based on “extortion”.

With the usage of ad blockers taking billions away from the global ad market, many have predicted what should be done to halt their rise. However, the latest update makes the legal route appear unsuited to an increasingly large task.

“It’s another victory for consumers and ad-blocking providers everywhere: we were informed on Friday by the regional court in Hamburg, Germany that blocking online ads is (still) your legal right,” commented Ben Williams, Eyeo’s head of ops.

Similar to its other post-court blogs, Williams gave a nod to his group’s empowerment of web users and their legal right to block ads. There was also a rallying cry aimed at some of his group’s competition, as just one negative verdict could see a “slew of lawsuits” preventing them all from operating.

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Richard Towey

Richard Towey

Richard serves as head of content at PerformanceIN. After many years spent covering developments from the automotive, sports, travel and finance sectors, he eventually turned his full attention to reporting on stories from the fast-evolving world of digital marketing. Richard now heads up the editorial team at PerformanceIN: the performance marketing industry's leading publication.  

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