1.7.04

German court rules that TV ad blockers are not illegal

As reported by German media site DWDL.de, the top federal court has ruled that a controversial gadget called the 'Fernsehfee' - TV Fairy - which automatically switches TV channel when adverts appear is not illegal.

Germany's major commercial broadcaster RTL had brought an action claiming the gadget contravened its freedom to compete in the broadcasting market by switching TV sets to another ad-free channel whenever adverts appeared in RTL's programming.

RTL enjoys advertising revenues of around a billion Euros annually and saw the device as compromising its commercial operations as advertisers would be less inclined to pay for adverts knowing that audiences would have TV sets that automatically switched over whenever they appeared.

The court ruled that the gadget did not constitute an illegal restraint on RTL's trade and competitiveness.

The Fernsehfee automatically switched back to the programme you were watching once the ad break is over - seems like a good thing!

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