It's a little bit difficult for companies to profit off of online advertising these days, especially when most Internet-savvy users are using services like Adblock to remove unwanted ads.
According to German site Horizont, companies may be getting around this by paying off Adblock Plus. Among these offending companies is tech giant Google, presumably to give its Google Ad service more user penetration.
Horizont didn't provide details of how much Google is paying Eyeo, the company that runs Adblock or the names of any other company that's also been added to Adblock's whitelist.
Eyeo's maintained a policy of allowing certain ads from smaller companies be added to its whitelist for free, while charging larger companies for similar treatment. "Whitelisting is free for all small websites and blogs," states the Adblock FAQ. "However, managing this list requires significant effort on our side and this task cannot be completely taken over by volunteers as it happens with common filter lists. That’s why we are being paid by some larger properties that serve nonintrusive advertisements that want to participate in the Acceptable Ads initiative."
For a company that aims to have an open source project to block online advertising, charging companies to be whitelisted seems to be a huge conflict of interest.