Adblock Plus' announcement implied Google and independent ad tech company AppNexus would supplying the ads within the platform, but neither company says they knew anything about it. AppNexus and Google have since gone on to suspend their relationships with the ad tech firm that made the partnership claim.
A real deal with Google would have been unsettling news for web publishers. The idea of Google scheming with its own ostensible enemies, Ticketmaster-style, to let them scalp an already-captive media business? Deliciously Gibsonian and just the sort of nightmare scenario publishers are afraid of.
… Eyeo's business model is controversial, to say the least.
The company charges large entities — including Google — to get their ads whitelisted. That means that as long as their ads meet the Adblock Plus "acceptable ads" standards, their ads will still be served to Adblock Plus users (except those with the most stringent settings). Adblock Plus charges companies a fee of 30% of the additional revenue they earned by having those ads unblocked.
People in the ad community have compared this model to everything from "blackmail" to "extortion" to being like a "Mafia-like advertising network."
But it turns out that Google and AppNexus never agreed to any sort of partnership with Adblock Plus.
As it happens, though, Google and AppNexus are immediately cutting them off.
AppNexus does not work with companies like Eyeo; we regard their business practices as fundamentally harmful to the ecosystem. Essentially, Eyeo, via its Adblock product, erects toll booths on a public road and siphons off advertising dollars that should be going directly to publishers. We hold that practice in low regard.