Google removes popular ad-blocking app from Play Store following Samsung partnership

Ad-blocking software on mobile platforms has been a hotly debated topic for the last year or so, especially since Apple opted to allow apps with this functionality in its heavily-curated iOS marketplace.

Earlier this week, we wrote about an update to Samsung’s browser giving users the ability to install apps that are able to natively block mobile ads.

Samsung’s ad-blocking launch partner is an app called Ad Block Fast, and it quickly shot up the charts this week. Today though, the app was removed from the Google Play Store, and its developers received an email citing it violates Google’s developer distribution agreement, specifically the section referring to an interference or disruption to servers or network services.

As an ad company, Google earns a significant amount of income through mobile advertising. Blocking Google ads, along with ads from network partners, isn’t in the company’s best interest. It’s unclear exactly why Ad Block Fast was targeted for removal given there are a plethora of other ad-blocking apps available on Android, but its spike in popularity was likely a factor.

It’s likely other Android apps that block ads through Samsung’s browser, as well as ad-blocking apps in general, will also be removed over the next few weeks. For better or worse, it’s ultimately at Google’s discretion which apps are acceptable in its mobile marketplace.