Ad blocking

Still, last year, France’s largest ISP, Orange (the brand name of France Telecom), managed to strike a deal (Google Translate) with Google that required Mountain View to compensate Orange for some of the traffic it was sending. For months now, Free has tried to put pressure on Google to get a similar deal by throttling YouTube traffic for Free users.

When that didn’t work, Free then implemented its ad block last week—which affected, according to BFM Business (Google Translate), all of Google’s ad servers. This halted ads alongside search, Gmail, and YouTube.

They suspended ad blocking for now to try to work out a deal with Google. Given the precedent, I’m surprised more ISPs aren’t doing this.

  • Techpm

    This is a bold move by a big ISP, but the more bizarre variation is still Kim Dotcom’s planned Megabox service.

    The plan there is for users to download a browser extension that replaces ads on websites with Megabox’s own ads. Users then get free music in return.

    I think the online ad revenue model will start to face many challenges in the near future. It’s just too easy to block/replace/etc.

    • lucascott

      So long as the music is legally obtained for use in the system it really isn’t that odd. There are dozens of make money by watching ads, doing surveys sites out there. This is just a variant of that theme that pays in music downloads rather than cash

      • KvH

        the difference is that a replace ad system takes revenue from the site and gives it to megabox. You go to a different site to watch the ads or take the survey, not replace existing ads on a site.

    • StefanVanPerlo

      where did you get this information?

  • gjgustav

    I don’t see why this ISP is doing this. ISPs should just charge for bandwidth and that’s it. Set your prices accordingly. Why does it matter to them if it’s going to Google or anyone else?

    • lucascott

      If I understand it correctly (and I might not) part of the issue is the ads which are served up on various websites and even on YouTube pages and within videos. Users haven’t asked for that content in general but are stuck with it. So why make them pay for it. But it does out a strain on systems as it builds up given that some websites have dozens of ass, many video or flash based, on every page. So the ISP feels that Google as they as server should chip in to cover costs’ or not be allowed to serve up those ads

      • KvH

        uh, users asked for it by going to the ad-supported website to begin with. and unless the ISPs are capping then there isn’t a problem for users downloading it. This will drive ad supported sites to join network neutrality groups to force ISPs to a straight pay for bandwidth speed pricing scheme with no caps or throttling allowed.

  • Google is in serious trouble if this continues. It will snowball very fast.

    • StefanVanPerlo

      Not google, but net neutrality is at risk here.

  • StefanVanPerlo

    I believe it’s illegal to do this for ISP’s in the netherlands. I think this is bad behaviour from the isp, i think government should intervene.

    The megabox extension sounds scumbag too.

    The fat will get fatter.

    • Hypothesard

      This isn’t Netherlands (even if I’d wish sometimes), the government did intervene (this isn’t the USA either), and nothing is as black or white as It seems (even from France)


      • StefanVanPerlo

        Then enlighten me please, because this isn’t helping at all. This kind of behaviour bordelines hostaging, and i think it should be illegal.

        • Hypothesard

          look for my other big reply on this very same page


  • This smells of a protection racket. You (Google) pay us money otherwise we fuck your business up.

  • I miss the days when you saw a few ads to support the content. Now, you see some content to support the ads.

    • Hypothesard

      Isn’t that (content to support the ads) the models of all US TV shows? -> content interrupting a stream of ads? (1hour show with 15 to 30 min of ads)

  • Hypothesard

    To those who ask : why should Google pay for the bandwidth It generates? I’d talk about Peering agreements (look It up on Wikipedia)

    To Jim who’s surprised that this doesn’t happen more often, I’d describe The French Internet as It is :

    — Orange (France Telecom) : Historical operator, It Literally IS France’s Internet (a whole country on 70Millions of Consumers) — but also one of the biggest french TV/Movie Producer/Broadcast Right Managers (sports, etc.)

    — Numericable One of the oldest French Cablo-Operator (TV Packages and somehow Content Producer) : It’s IS synonymous with French Fiber (along with Orange and Free)

    — SFR : in France It has bee associated with Vodafone France, and More Recently with UNUIVERSAL (Yes, That Universal Studio you’re so familiar with)


    — There is Free, which olds no Content Production Business, nor Broadcast rights, no real Influence backed by Big Content Production like Orange, SFR/Universal or Numericable…

    Don’t get me wrong, Free is Powerful (in france), holds 30% and more of the French Optic Fiber, but its weapon of choice has been as far as I can remember : It’s pricing toward consumers Friendly and industry-diruptive (they initiated unlimited, cap-free, low price Internet broadband in the 2000, and the others had to adjust their prices [almost double at the time], Free obtaining the 4th French Cell broadcast licence, did the same thing : cut the generally observed prices of monthly cell fee by a factor of 2 to 3)

    So, as I tried to say Free (look for Iliad SA (ILD.PA) -Paris in Yahoo finance) did with what it had, not Broadcast Content right deals, not Big Movie Majors deals behind closed doors, but with its big share of french Internet users or as Google sees them : 23% of French Eyeballs for Google’s ads (There were words about USD 1Billion of annual Ads for France alone, So roughly USD 630K loss in ads per day from Free’s blocking ad sting)

    • StefanVanPerlo

      Found it. You provide no arguments to counter my opinion tho, peering can be commonplace, it should never be played out over the backs of the user, unless forced by law. If my ISP would block acces to parts of the web, i would refuse payment.

      • Hypothesard

        what you describe as part of the internet is in this case Google’s ad Network (Google Analytics block admittedly was an unwanted collateral damage)

        So I would dispute the on the back of the internet users as the users, here, are the one who’s eyeballs are monetized by google.

        Law isn’t everything, here, we see in plain sight (not behind doors as It was the case for Orange) some strong arming in a business transaction, sure but It doesn’t means that It’s illegal.

        Just because you didn’t read a news about Orange or SFR transactions in peering agreement doesn’t mean they didn’t exist or that they weren’t that ugly, It just mean no one made a fuss about It and then made the news…

        btw, by law Free as most of the other ISP who did offer NewsGroup servers did block acces to all those outlawed content.

        As I said, not everything is at It seems, here Google is showing It’s muscle be facilitating the outrage and distorting the facts as you just showed, making you believe that essential parts of the internet were blocked.

        • StefanVanPerlo

          Imho, users have a right to see google’s ads. Website owners have the right to display google ads, an ISP should deliver the web. Google “net-neutrality”. The only entity that should be allowed to force blocking (and i’m even opposed to that, i feel they should take the site down not block it) is the law. I’m not against peering agreements, i’m against removing access to parts of the web from the user to enforce it.

          Thank you for giving more context tho, it’s appreciated, and for the rest we could agree to disagree 🙂

          • Hypothesard

            Here it’s not a question of Rights as in Human rights. It’s a question of Business model, business cost and business transaction.

            Google isn’t making money directly by generating traffic but by Monetizing the eyeballs inferred by that traffic,

            Free wants its peering agreements with google to reflect that, which is not the case now.

            But hey keep fixating the the rights and legalities and writing the the end user should pay for the money Google is making with our Eyeballs on top of the dumb pipe Free is providing…


          • StefanVanPerlo

            I am not against then having to pay. I am against the means they use to get it. They should put their customer first!

          • Hypothesard

            «They should put their customer first!»

            If you’re talking about Free, they are, very much so, by fighting with the weapons they have and NOT making us (users) pays for Google’s business (ADS)

            Free choose carefully the timing (post christmas shopping and before discount period/boxing day) where the ad revenue is in hibernation anyway.

            It was a warning shot in Google’s parts where It hurts : Ad revenues, not YouTube, not News sites, online library, not The Loop, not Amplified, etc.

            I don’t know about you, but I do not consider ads as content but as a necessary harm…

  • This is bad news. Your site lives on ads and subscriptions. If all of a sudden an ISP starts blocking your ads, you lose revenue. ISPs need to be dumb pipes. Saturday out of the way.