Google, Amazon, Microsoft Pay Adblock Plus "Not to Block"
Google, Amazon and Microsoft pay Adblock Plus, the world’s most popular software for blocking online advertising, to stop blocking ads on their sites. That is ironic.
Many advocate strong network neutrality rules, in large part, on the grounds that any paid forms of packet delivery are unfair. Paid prioritization gives big companies who can pay for expedited delivery an advantage over small companies who cannot pay for such services.
So here we have Google, Amazon and Microsoft paying to given their own advertising priority over ads shown by all other advertisers who do not pay for the privilege.
Don’t get me wrong. Adblock Plus can do as it likes to stay in business. Google, Amazon and Microsoft have the right to try and protect their revenue streams. I as a user can avail myself of Adblock Plus, or not, as I choose.
Big firms, or firms with lots of money or other advantages, will use those advantages in the marketplace, just as many firms already pay for content prioritization, using content delivery networks.
Adblock Plus, Google, Amazon and Microsoft can do as they please with their voluntary business arrangements. But others should be able to do so as well, so long as the deals are voluntary, mutually agreed upon and available to any who wish to participate in such deals.
No, it is not “completely fair.” Nothing in business, and little in life, actually is “completely fair.”
So long as people can use any lawful Internet app, and have choices about their Internet access providers, firms should be free to compete as they see fit. We always have antitrust tools to wield if the market doesn’t work so well.