German digital publisher Axel Springer has been active in its war against ad blockers. Following the ban of readers using ad blockers from accessing its Bild site, the company has taken iOS ad block maker Blockr to court. According to Blockr’s lawyers, the publisher seeks to prohibit Blockr from “offering, advertising, maintaining and managing” ad blocking software that can be used to block the pages of Axel Springer-owned news site Die Welt.
Blockr ad blocking software for iOS devices
During a hearing on 19. November, Blockr’s law firm argued that its software was both legal and optional. The court backed these views and suggested Axel Springer use alternate ways to fight ad blockers, such as halting access, which it has employed before.
The final ruling has been scheduled for 10. December.
However, a win for Axel Springer doesn’t look promising. Earlier this year, the company took Adblock Plus maker, Eyeo, to court, but failed to succeed. Following the Bild paper ban on ad blocking software, the publisher reported that two-thirds of readers had subsequently abandoned their ad blockers to access the site.
Block Co-Founders Arno Appenzeller and Tim Poller, said:
“Our intention with Blockr is to give users a choice to what they see while browsing the web. There is a lot of stuff intruding users privacy, spamming the small size mobile screens or draining their mobile data. We think this choice matters in many ways and hope the court will consider this.”