When it comes to getting around web browser ad blockers, it’s apparently more than who you know. It’s how much you pay.
The Financial Times reports that Amazon, Microsoft and Google are among a handful of large companies it has confirmed are paying to have their websites whitelisted in Adblock Plus. The extension for Chrome, Firefox and other browsers is said to the one of the most popular free tools to stop ads from appearing in web pages.
The company behind Adblock Plus, German startup Eyeo, has not commented on any specifics. The FT, though, says it has established the existence of the deals. The report notes that “Eyeo makes money by operating a ‘whitelist’ of certain ads that are not blocked,” and while whitelisting is free for small sites and blogs, “Eyeo charges a fee to large companies in order ‘to make the initiative sustainable.'”
Amazon, the FT says, declined to comment. Microsoft tells the Financial Times, on the unblocking of Bing search ads, that it “will always give consumers choice when it comes to advertisements.”
Adblock Plus users do have one final line of defense, which is to block all ads, even the ones that Eyeo describes as “unobtrusive.” Or switch to another extension.