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Internet

Minister raps Free for unilaterally blocking Google ads

Tuesday 8 January 2013 | 08:43 CET | News
French digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin has asked ISP Free to deactivate the ad blocking software it placed on customers’ Freebox Revolution STBs, France Info reports. The operator’s “brutality and way of proceeding are not acceptable; an actor cannot unilaterally call into question a whole system”, Pellerin said. She added that Free’s move was incompatible with her vision of an open internet where the end-user is in charge.

Some internet users said that some Google ads appeared as early as 8:30 on 7 January, three days after the OTA upgrade and before the minister met with Free. Freebox users can now disactivate the ad blocker by adjusting the STB’s settings. Some critics of Free’s move, known in the press and on social networks as #Adgate, say this precedent opens the door to ISPs blocking other types of content.

Pellerin, who will hold talks with Google soon, said the incident has highlighted the problem of sharing adding value between ISPs and online services. She wants the relationship between network operators and content providers to be less opaque.

Categories: Internet
Companies: Free / Google
Countries: France
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