German Supreme Court rules in favour of Adblock Plus

A case brought by publisher Axel Springer against Adblock Plus has been thrown out of the German Supreme Court, Reuters reported.

Axel Springer was looking for a ban of the ad blocking application, which is marketed by Eyeo.

Other German media companies brought separate cases against Adblock Plus. Plaintiffs included ProSiebenSat.1 Media, RTL, and Spiegel Online.

The Axel Springer case was the first to reach the Supreme Court.

It argued that blocking online ads violated competition law. The operation of a “white list” which companies could pay to be on so that Adblock Plus allows their advertising through also violated Germany’s competition laws, said Axel Springer.

The practice of blocking ads and then accepting payment to unblock those which comply with its “acceptable ads” policy has been likened to a protection racket.

Germany ‘s Supreme Court disagreed, ruling that online ad blockers are legal and overturned a lower court ruling that operating a white list was tantamount to unfair competition.

Axel Springer said it would appeal to the Constitutional Court. It would use the grounds that ad blockers violate press freedom by disrupting online media and their financial viability.

Now read: Adblock Plus to show online adverts

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German Supreme Court rules in favour of Adblock Plus