Buried in today’s news regarding Android, Google made another, more quiet move against developers of adblocking software, which has become more popular on Android due to the higher frequency of free or ad-supported trial apps that rely on ad revenue from mobile ads.
Being that Google also derives the majority of its revenue from Android via Google searches and ad revenue through AdSense it does have the moral high ground to disallow such adblocking apps from its Google Play storefront as detailed in its developer terms:
You agree that you will not engage in any activity with the Market, including the development or distribution of Products, that interferes with, disrupts, damages, or accesses in an unauthorized manner the devices, servers, networks, or other properties or services of any third party including, but not limited to, Android users, Google or any mobile network operator. You may not use customer information obtained from the Market to sell or distribute Products outside of the Market.
With the elimination of adblocking apps from Google Play, this does not mean that they are eliminated completely, as many of the developers can simply set up shop in alternative storefronts and even offer the individual apps directly via dedicated sites, with interested users being able to sideload the app of their choice instead of being reliant on a single storefront. Below, the letter being sent out to affected developers:
This is a notification that your application, [REDACTED], has been removed from the Google Play Store.
REASON FOR REMOVAL: Violation of section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement.
After a regular review we have determined that your app interferes with or accesses another service or product in an unauthorized manner. This violates the provision of your agreement with Google referred to above.
All violations are tracked. Serious or repeated violations of any nature will result in the termination of your developer account, and investigation and possible termination of related Google accounts. If your account is terminated, payments will cease and Google may recover the proceeds of any past sales and/or the cost of any associated fees (such as chargebacks and transaction fees) from you.
If your developer account is still in good standing, you may revise and upload a new instance of the application that is compliant with the developer terms. Before uploading any new applications, please review the Developer Distribution Agreement and Content Policy.
If you feel we have made this determination in error, you can visit this Google Play Help Center article for additional information regarding this removal.
The Google Play Team
A developer has also confirmed receiving the above letter on Twitter with redaction, as the most well-known ad blocking app in Ad-Away is being removed from the Play Store for the aforementioned reasons.