Internet giants Google, Amazon, Microsoft have been shaken down for an undisclosed amount of cash by AdBlock Plus, the world’s most popular adblock service. In exchange for a “fee”, AdBlock Plus will stop blocking adverts on their websites. With the ability to decide what adverts its 300 million users do or do not see, Eyeo, the owners of Adblock Plus have found themselves in the unusual position of being able to dictate terms to the likes of Google who depend on advertising for revenue.
Eyeo operates a “whitelist” of acceptable adverts that it doesn’t block. While joining the list is free for small websites, large companies are required to pay a “fee” to keep their advert revenue streams protected. While the amount Google, Amazon and Microsoft coughed up is unknown, one digital media company told the Financial Times that Eyeo had asked for equivalent to 30% of the additional ad revenues that it would make from being unblocked.