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This wireless carrier will block ads unless it gets a cut

Oct 01, 2015

A Jamaican wireless carrier will no longer load Internet ads on its customers’ data plans unless it gets a portion of the ad revenue.

Digicel, which operates in the Caribbean and South Pacific, announced the change Wednesday. The ad-blocking technology will affect display and video ads both on the mobile web and within apps.

In particular Digicel is targeting tech giants such as Facebook (fb), Yahoo (yhoo) and Google (goog), which have built multibillion-dollar empires through online advertising. Digicel says it wants to strike revenue-sharing agreements with all three companies. “Currently, these companies do not pay to make use of the network and the services they provide on it suck up bandwidth to make money for themselves through advertising while putting no money in,” Digicel said in a press release.

It’s not clear whether major U.S. carriers would consider implementing similar technology to boost their profits. AT&T, Verizon (vz) and Sprint didn’t respond to a request for comment from the Wall Street Journal.

Digicel’s move comes as the advertising and media industries are already reeling from the quick uptake of mobile ad-blockers on Apple’s latest iPhone software. A number of apps compatible with iOS 9 now make it incredibly simple for users to block ads in their mobile browsers.

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