Ron Wyden: Adblocker and advertising industry mislead users


Adblockers are a misleading decoy offer. That's how influential Democratic US Senator Ron Wyden sees it. "Hundreds of millions of consumers around the world have installed software that pretends to block online advertising," he wrote in a letter to the FTC. "Meanwhile, the largest advertising companies, including Google, Amazon Microsoft and Verizon Media, have millions of dollars paid to some of the largest ad blocker companies to keep track of consumers and target advertising. "

Wyden calls on the FTC (Federal Trade Commission) to launch an official investigation. The authority should ensure that the operators of the "ad blockers" clearly tell their users what is going on.

Ronald Lee Wyden represents the citizens of Oregon in the US Senate.

(Image: U.S. Senate (Public Domain))

As a primary example, the Democrat cites the German company Eyeo, operator of Adblock Plus. In 2011 she stopped stopping all advertising. Since then she has kept a list of "Acceptable Ads", which is passed along with tracking. For this type of activation, the company not only requires compliance with certain criteria, such as no pop-ups, but also generally larger advertisers also 30 percent of their additional sales. This is evident from Eyeo's price list for acceptable ads.

Since October 2015, other ad blockers have been able to join the program and earn money. At that time, an anonymous buyer took over Eyeos competitor Adblock, which has since also allowed "Acceptable Ads" to pass.

Wyden also complains that several ad blocker providers have automatically "upgraded" their software without clearly telling users that they will see more advertisements with the new version and will be monitored more by the advertising industry than before. This is likely to violate US law.

In Germany, the cartel office gave the go-ahead for the contract between Google and Eyeo. The Federal Court of Justice has ruled that Eyeo Adblock Plus may continue to sell. The publishing house Axel Springer continues to process, among other things with the allegation of the violation of German competition law. The Federal Court of Justice sees unanswered questions about Adblock Plus.


. (tagsToTranslate) Adblocker (t) Data Protection (t) Eyeo (t) Federal Trade Commission (t) Antitrust Law (t) Law (t) Ron Wyden (t) USA (t) Advertising (t) Competition Law