Eyeo, the company behind AdBlock Plus, the largest desktop ad blocking service, is allegedly paying other companies to adopt its “Acceptable Ads” policy if they are making apps for iOS 9, the latest version of Apple’s mobile operating system, according to a French publication, InfoiGen.
“Acceptable Ads” white-lists some sites, allowing their ads through.
Eyeo declined to confirm or deny the report when reached by Business Insider.
Apple’s latest operating system, iOS 9, makes it possible to block ads through third-party apps, such as Peace or Crystal. If you download these apps, it strips the ads out of any web page you look at on your iPhone. That usually makes browsing the web faster, it blocks advertising trackers, and it means that less of your data plan is spent downloading ads you don’t want.
This has lead to a surge in development of ad blockers for iOS. While AdBlock Plus is the largest, its dominance is limited to desktop. An increase in use from other developers on iOS could reduce its position, especially if the AdBlock Browser doesn’t take off.
AdBlock Plus currently charges companies, including Google, Microsoft, and Amazon, “30% of the additional ad revenues” they would have generated through unblocked ads. Presumably, if the company’s dominance in that market is eroded by a large number of competing, smaller apps then big internet advertisers are less likely to pay ABP to let its ads through.
According to the report, Eyeo is offering developers between €1,000 and €5,000 (£730 to £3,651 / $US1,132 to $US5,664) per month to support its “white list.” Business Insider could not verify this figure with Eyeo, however. When asked about the report, Eyeo responded that “[it’s] not entirely correct, no” but didn’t specify what was incorrect.
Ben Williams, a spokeperson for Eyeo, said AdBlock had “approached a number of independent developers who have expressed their intention to develop an iOS 9 ad blocker to see if they would consider including Acceptable Ads in their solution.” He declined to address whether AdBlock had also offered them money.