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Google is in the habit of making a lot of people very upset lately, it seems.

And here it goes again. The company has just removed the popular Adblock Plus app from Google Play, along with other ad-blocking apps.

According to Google, Adblock Plus “interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner,” which Google says is a violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.


Above: AdBlock Plus is one of the most popular extensions for Chrome.

Sounds complicated, but it really isn’t: Google makes its cash off ads, and Adblock Plus blocks ads. Frankly it’s a surprise it’s taken Google this long to make a move.

Predictably, Adblock Plus isn’t happy with the turn of events and says Google is putting its own revenue considerations before Internet freedom and consumer choice.

“We realize that advertising revenue is important to Google, but understand that Adblock Plus does not automatically block all ads; we simply allow users the choice whether to block ads or whitelist them,” Adblock Plus co-founder Till Faida said in a statement. (We’ll have more from Faida on Thursday morning.)

Google’s move comes a few weeks after the search/advertising/smartphone giant decided to block AdBlock Plus from working on devices running Android 4.2.2. Removing Adblock Plus, then, is a natural extension of that decision.

We’ve reached out to Google for comment on its latest move, but in the meantime, take a gander at the full email sent to the Adblock Plus team.

From: Google Play Support <googleplay-developer-support@google.com>
Date: Wed, Mar 13, 2013 at 5:58 PM
Subject: Notification from Google Play
To: till@adblockplus.org

This is a notification that your application, Adblock Plus, with package ID org.adblockplus.android, has been removed from the Google Play Store.

REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.

After a regular review we have determined that your app interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner. This violates the provision of your agreement with Google referred to above.

All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.

If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the application that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.

If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.

The Google Play Team

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