There’s a right royal rumpus brewing in the European mobile industry this week, and it concerns plans by some operators to start blocking advertising on their networks. According to the Financial Times, one European telco has already “installed blocking software in its data centres and planned to turn it on before the end of 2015”, working with Israeli firm Shine on the necessary technology.
“Tens of millions of mobile subscribers around the world will be opting in to ad blocking by the end of the year,” said Shine’s chief marketing officer Roi Carthy. “If this scales, it could have a devastating impact on the online advertising industry.” So why is this happening? The FT suggests that operators are mulling this hardball strategy to force Google in particular to give them a slice of its mobile advertising revenues – despite the likely outrage on net neutrality grounds alone. “People pay for mobile internet packages so they can access the apps, video streaming, webmail and other services they love, many of which are funded by ads,” said a Google spokesperson by way of response.