Microsoft, Google & others threaten to sue Adblock Plus creator

Boo Berry

Moderator + Beta Tester
A French group of publishers, including top names such as Microsoft and Google, are planning to sue developers of ad-blocking software because of the impact that their solutions have on their web-based solutions.

Ad blockers have grown a lot in popularity lately, and Adblock Plus is the living example that such an application can really enjoy a terrific success if it comes with an effective engine and easy-to-use options.

At this point, Adblock Plus alone has no less than 5 million users in France, approximately 2 million in the United Kingdom, and 1.5 million in Spain. According to Times of India stats, no less than 144 million users worldwide are now turning to Adblock Plus in search for cleaner browsing, up 69 percent from the year before.

The success registered by Adblock Plus leads to more surprising figures: depending on a number of factors, including the visited website, up to 60 percent of the Internet users installed such an application to block ads.

As a result of the growing appetite for ad blockers, French publishers, including Microsoft, Google, and local online newspapers, are threatening to sue companies developing such applications, hoping that such a decision would lead to fewer users deploying such solutions.

Some of these websites are entirely backed with funds generated from online ads, so the bigger the number of users who block the ads, the lower the income generated by each webpage.

The online version of French newspaper L'Equipe, which is one of the companies that could file a legal complaint against ad-blocking app developers, decided to restrict access to its website for users who are running such programs on their computers.

"Unauthorized access. L' is funded by advertising, which allows us to offer you free content,” the message provided to users with Adblock Plus installed reads.

Xavier Spender, deputy managing director of L'Equipe group, says that users can get rid of ads if they pay for a premium subscription, but as long as they go for the freeware version, advertisements need to be displayed in order to generate revenues.

There's no doubt that ad blockers indeed reduce publishers' revenues, and Laure de Lataillade, CEO of GESTE, a company that represents publishers in several industry sectors, claims that this loss sometimes reaches 40 percent. All because of third-party apps that users install to block ads, she says.

Some, however, are wondering if the ad model employed by these websites is actually at fault for this drop, as in many of these cases, users need to turn to such applications in order to make sure that they're not attacked with ads once they load a page.

Wow. Just wow. I don't see how they can actually sue though.


This is just to produce effort, cost.
They sue you for like 10 millions - now go and pay your attorney (also take the risk of loosing into account which multiplies your cost).
If you do not get crowd-funded you almost lost at that point.