Apple just ad-blocked Google.

By Jonathan Chew
August 31, 2015

Apple AAPL is setting itself up for a confrontation with Google GOOG over its talked-about ad blocking feature that is set to be introduced in its latest mobile operating system.

Apple’s latest iOS 9 will allow third-party developers to introduce apps that will enable ad blocking on Safari, its mobile browser. If millions of Apple’s mobile users utilize this for a faster browsing experience, the move could disrupt a growing $70 billion mobile-marketing business, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

This cripples revenue for publishers and tech firms that are already facing losses from present-day ad blocking. A study by Adobe ADBE and PageFair shows ad-blocking extensions in desktop web browsers result in $22 billion in lost revenue to the websites that host ads.

Any form of ad blocking on mobile devices will hit Google especially hard. A Goldman Sachs report estimated that the company earned around $12 billion in mobile search revenue, with 75% of it generated from users of iPhones and iPads. Online advertising contributes around 90% of Google’s annual $66 billion revenue.

The ad-blocking feature also doesn’t include blocking within apps, a distinction that benefits Apple, since it takes a 30% cut on money generated from apps.

“It seems like this is part of the ongoing tussle between these two entities,” Peter Stabler, a Wells Fargo analyst, told the Journal. “It’s yet another arrow that Apple can put into the ankle of Google.”

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