Google, the internet’s biggest advertising company, may be building an ad blocker.
Such a tool seems at odds with the company’s primary revenue source, but Google thinks that it could actually deter people from resorting to other blockers in the long run, according to the report.
Regardless, the move would no doubt cause controversy among an industry locked in a fierce battle with the growing tide of ad-blocking software.
The Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry trade group of which Google is a member, has likened the cottage industry of ad-blocking companies to “highway robbery,” “terrorists,” and “inner city crack dealers” on various occasions.
An ad blocker could also bolster Google’s already-enormous power in the digital ads market, on which it and Facebook currently have a duopoly. Were it to be widely adopted, the company would also be the arbiter of all ads people see.
There’s a good chance that sort of arrangement would catch the attention of antitrust regulators, however.
Google reportedly plans to base its filter on the standards for non-intrusive advertising set by the Coalition for Better Advertising.
While desktop ad blocking continues to grow in popularity worldwide, its mobile form has yet to catch on much outside of Asia.
Google Chrome is the top mobile browser in the world with a market share of a little more than half.