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Germany: Google/Eyeo change their contract terms with ad blockers

 |  January 21, 2019

In cooperation with the Austrian competition authority (BWB) the Bundeskartellamt conducted an administrative proceeding against Google, Mountain View and Eyeo, Cologne for concluding anticompetitive agreements.The proceeding was terminated after the companies amended a so-called “whitelisting contract” between them which had originally significantly restricted Eyeo’s independent entrepreneurial ad-blocking activity.

Under the name “Adblock Plus”, Eyeo offers programs which can be integrated into standard web browsers to stop adverts from appearing on websites visited by users (ad blockers). The company offers advertisers and advertising marketers the possibility to exclude certain ads from the ad-blocking process (whitelisting). To qualify for exclusion advertisements must meet certain “acceptable ads” criteria, which define them as less intrusive from the user’s perspective. Eyeo demands a fee from larger advertisers and advertising marketers for its whitelisting service. It also concluded a contract with Google for this service.

Andreas Mundt, President of the Bundeskartellamt: “As the Federal Court of Justice also recently decided, ad blockers are a legal tool. It is understandable that consumers are interested in controlling the type and amount of online advertising they see. The offer of ad blockers is an integral part of the competitive process in online advertising services. Regulations in contracts aimed at restricting the offer of ad blockers are therefore anticompetitive and hence unacceptable.”

Full Content: Bundeskartellamt

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