Google’s Proposal for Chrome Browser Threatens Ad Blockers, Developers Say

(Bloomberg) -- A Google proposal that could make it harder to block web ads has prompted complaints from developers offering such tools.

Google is working on a change to its Chrome browser this year that would limit how browser extensions built by outside developers can interact with websites. It’s aimed at improving security and privacy for Chrome users. But some ad blocker software makers say the move will render their tools useless, while benefiting Google’s online advertising business.

“Whether Google does this to protect their advertising business or simply to force its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of misuse of its market-dominating position,” Jeremy Tillman, director of product at Ghostery, which builds a popular ad blocker, said in an email.

Google is still working with developers on the proposal and wants to make sure all “fundamental use cases” will still be possible, a spokeswoman for the company said in an emailed statement.

Google’s Chrome dominates the market for desktop web browsers. The Alphabet Inc. unit makes most of its revenue through online advertising, which relies on users seeing ads as they surf the web.

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