AdBlock Plus is allegedly being paid by Google to un-block its ads.
A little-known default feature of the popular ad-blocker allows ads that are deemed “not annoying” to be shown on users’ browsers. According to ABP’s website, getting on the “Acceptable Ads” whitelist is free for small advertisers, but larger ad networks have to pay their way. Google’s AdSense and AdWords are both on ABP’s exceptions list, as are Amazon, eHow and Reddit.
German marketing news site Horizon T has claimed it has evidence that Google is one of the big companies paying to get on the list, though the amount isn’t known. The report was motivated by German blogger Sascha Pallenberg of MobileGeeks, who’s been making a lot of noise about alleged questionable dealings by Eyeo GmbH, the company behind ABP.
ABP refers to itself as a community-driven non-profit organization, but concerns that ABP might be shaking down big ad networks have been raised before. Google has a mixed history with the extension – ABP was booted from Android’s Google Play Store in March for “interference with another service or product in an unauthorized manner,” but it’s still available for download in the Chrome Web Store.
So far neither Google nor Eyeo have responded to the allegations.