Senator Wyden calls for an investigation of the ad-blocking industry

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Sen Ron Wyden (D-OR) called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the ad-blocking industry for anti-competitive behavior. For years now, some of the largest tech firms have paid ad-blocking companies like Eyeo, which owns Adblock Plus, to avoid the software’s restrictions and have their ads displayed on devices. In 2015, a report showed that companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google were paying out ad blockers so that they could be added to a whitelist to avoid the software’s filters. In a letter to the FTC, Sen Wyden outlined this behavior and asked FTC Chairman Joseph Simons to open an investigation into the entire ad-blocking industry as a response. Sen Wyden argued that any company that accepts payment to be whitelisted should be “far more transparent” about the process with its users. In the case of Adblock Plus, the company announced in 2016 that it would be accepting some ads that weren’t “intrusive or annoying.” The company whitelists these acceptable ads and allows them to run on devices, but Sen Wyden argues that this behavior is “anti-competitive.


Sen. Ron Wyden calls for an investigation of the ad-blocking industry Read the Letter