Google Play Store is taking down apps that help the Samsung browser block ads.
The ad blocking feature is a recent addition to Samsung’s mobile browser. Apps like Adblock Fast when installed would block certain content like ads to make browsing faster and the website less jarring.
As we all know, ad business is a big part of Google’s source of income. They couldn’t do anything about it when iOS 9 added the service to the Safari browser, but this time, they decided to intervene.
So, the takedowns began. According to a report by Techcrunch, the Adblock Fast app was one of the first third-party app launched for the purpose of blocking ads on Samsung’s browser. The app shot to the top of free apps list before being taken down.
The founder of Rockship told Techcrunch that Google’s app reviews team informed him that the app was taken down for violating “Section 4.4” of Android Developer Distribution Agreement.
The section states that app can’t interfere with,“the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third-party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator.”
So, according to Google, the apps have to let information flow between servers and phones without any interruption. In that case, apps like Opera Max — which compresses data for faster browsing — should also be violating the section.
But, if Google had a problem with ad-blockers in general, it would have done something about the plugins for the Chrome browser.