German broadcasters lose AdBlock Plus legal challenge

A spokesperson for the court confirmed the ruling and in a statement said that the court had concluded the software was not anti-competitive because internet users were choosing to instal AdBlock Plus and Eyeo did not have enough dominance of the market to stop online publishers from finding sufficient users who would see ads.

A spokeswoman for RTL said that the company is considering appealing the decision.

“We are weighing a possible course of action against the ruling and assessing the prospects of an appeal,” she said.

AdBlock Plus is controversial as Eyeo operates an “acceptable ads” whitelist on which larger sites have to pay to be included.

Eyeo estimates AdBlock Plus is used on 50m computers, and there are about 150m people using some sort of ad-blocking software, according to Pagefair, a site which specialises in telling digital publishers when users are blocking ads.

The ruling in a Munich regional court is the second defeat in as many months for online publishers challenging the software, and Eyeo’s fourth successful defence against court action brought against it.


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