Axel Springer goes after Apple iOS 9 ad blockers in new legal battle

“German media giant Axel Springer, which operates top European newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, and who recently bought a controlling stake in Business Insider for $343 million, has a history of fighting back against ad-blocking software that threatens its publications’ business models,” Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch.

“Now, it’s taking that fight to mobile ad blockers, too,” Perez reports. “According to the makers of the iOS content blocker dubbed ‘Blockr,’ which is one of several new iOS 9 applications that allow users to block ads and other content that slows down web browsing, Axel Springer’s WELTN24 subsidiary took them to court in an attempt to stop the development and distribution of the Blockr software.”

“Blockr’s lawyers argued in a hearing on November 19 that its software is legal and should be allowed to continue, and that it’s the user’s choice to use an ad blocker. In the hearing, the court seemed to agree with the startup, and pointed out that Axel Springer has other options for handling how it wants to deal with ad blockers. For example, it could re-use its prior tactics that involve locking out users from a website when it detects that the visitor is using ad blocking software,” Perez reports. “The final ruling, however, is not until December 10.”

Much more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: This is just another part of the larger advertising/ad-blocking kerfuffle.

It’s all welcome discourse since the quicker the shit hits the fan, the quicker the solutions to a largely broken system will arise.

Note: Always remember that on our site you can use the AdChoices icon (blue triangle) on any applicable ad to opt out of interest-based ads at any time. That way, people in Tucson can enjoy ads for snow shovels, too!

Axel Springer bans adblock users from accessing Bild website – October 13, 2015

Ad-blockers prompt IAB to admit ‘we messed up’; launch L.E.A.N. Ads program – October 16, 2015
AMP: Accelerated Mobile Pages are Google’s response to ad blockers and news apps like Apple News – October 15, 2015
Google’s new Accelerated Mobile Pages meant to keep users in Web browsers and out of dedicated apps – October 7, 2015
Apple pulls ‘Been Choice’ ad-blocker, other apps from App Store citing security concerns – October 9, 2015
Following Apple News, Google preps Accelerated Mobile Pages – October 7, 2015
Apple approves first adblocker that works within mobile apps – October 6, 2015
Rush Limbaugh: What Apple’s iOS 9 ad-blockers will unleash – September 21, 2015
iOS 9 adblocker apps top App Store charts; developer pulls ‘Peace’ adblocker – September 18, 2015
iOS 9 content blocking will transform the mobile Web – August 24, 2015


  1. I was not going to use mobile ad blockers on Safari because I wanted to support the sites and sometimes the ads were informative. But then, one day it just seemed to finally get to be too much. Sites would hardly load, then bog down, then not work. I was just done, just as I had been on the computer. MDN became almost unusable and I didn’t like the content of some of the ads displaying on my screen either. So, there you go.

    Remember how we end users fought pop-ups back in the 90s? What a mess. Now they are back! And site and advertisers think users won’t do something to stop this hijacking of their screens?! And auto-play! Hey web masters and advertisers: That one features does more to discredit you and turn off visitors than anything else you do. So, you don’t use pop-ups or auto-play on your site? Blame the ones that do for so many users getting angry enough to get blockers that hurt you, too. Police your own, people.

    1. I was reading an article on There was a video that was playing, with audio. I paused it. Every time, i scrolled down it would play again.

      At some point advertisers will have to realize what they are advertising is who NOT to buy from.

      I don’t know where all this money is coming from, but certainly how can companies justify advertising dollars when it doesn’t increase sales? Someone is being lied to.

      1. I also make a point of remembering which companies annoy me with ads and make a point to NEVER buy their products. I still don’t know when they will ever learn to target ads to those of us who want their products. I love ads when it is something that I actually have a strong likelihood of buying. I don’t buy feminine hygiene products or Windows products or Android products or North American automobiles or . . .

      2. I’ve always doubted the effectiveness of advertising, and wondered how companies can justify millions and millions of dollars in ads of questionable worth.There’s something fishy about the whole thing.

  2. I am trying to be better and keep MDN unblocked, but that shit they have loading at the top of the page that moves everything down 200 pixels! is getting on my last nerve. If it doesn’t leave by the end of this month…sorry MDN…

    1. Count gmail among them, except the buttons they try to entice you to click are theirs, to enable mobile apps, to register, to sign up, to stay logged in on window close,…

  3. I Find it sad that so many people who read the pages here also diss the company suppling the information.
    without the add how do these people keep their website going?
    I’m no journalist ut being a record producer i know what it like to have people telling me how they love my music having got it illegally .

    People should respect more the places they frequently visit for free information. i love accessing the web site that tell me things i did not know about Apple or anything else. adverts seem to be part of the process for the information to be free. I switch off to it with my eyes i don’t run blockers as it seems a honest trade for the person supplying my enjoyment to get the page views it needs for the serve its giving me.

    same issue with music i just don’t understand why some people are so self obsessed with their own self importance and greed to not realise how helping each other benefits us all.

  4. If companies exercise some restraint in advertising, then this might not be a significant issue. But there is no self-control when revenue is based on volume and every company and website appears to be trying to maximize revenue. Eventually, everyone loses.

    My current cable internet connection is well about 800 times faster than in the dial-up days, and my computers are much faster, too. But web site load time are getting longer and longer – ads, trackers, fancy stuff to guide/control your website activities. And nearly all of these thing load first, before the content that you want to access. And the content, when it does appear, often jumps around through several reformatting stages before it settles down so that you can read it. Honestly, we have come 15 years forward in some ways, and twenty years back in others.

    I will use an ad blocker if I determine it is necessary. If that cuts me off from some websites, then fine. There are plenty of companies out there who want my business.

  5. I got rid of my ad blocker. When it comes to this site, I need useful info that my ad blocker was trying to obscure. Now I know the following:
    1 what kate Middleton wore was too revealing
    2 What overweight movie stars look like
    3 Why women wearing bikini tops are seductive when they bend over
    4 15 selfies gone wrong

    I could go on. But I will tell you this.

    Not 1 ad on this siteis meant to promote a product or service that the readers of this site are interested in.

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