German media conglomerate Axel Springer, (no relation to Jerry), is pursuing legal action against the developers of iOS 9 ad blocker software Blockr. The firm, which owns a number of newspapers, including Bild and Die Welt, wants to halt both the development and distribution of the app.
Axel Springer subsidiary WeltN24 is specifcally looking to halt both the development and distrubtion of the app, TechCrunch noted. Blockr strips ads from both the desktop and mobile renderings of Die Welt’s website, among others.
During a November 19 hearing, lawyers for Blockr argued the software is legal and optional, and the court reportedly backed that argument. The court suggested the Axel Springer has alternate ways of fighting ad blockers, such as requiring the software be turned off before allowing access to their websites. The report indicates Axel Springer has attempted that in the past.
A final ruling is expected on the matter on December 10th.
With the debut of iOS 9, and its support for third-party ad and content blockers for its Safari web browser, a number of website publishers have become concerned about the possible drop in ad revenue due to the ad blockers. Meanwhile, the supporters of such software argue ads have become increasingly intrusive, claiming they harm device performance, and in addition believe the software can even help combat adware and malware.