Google allows Adblock Fast to re-enter the Google Play Store
Google has apparently changed its mind about how it interprets a section of its Developer Distribution Agreement. Last week, the Alphabet division blocked Adblock Fast from the Google Play Store citing Section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement. Other ad-blockers, like Crystal, had their updates blocked by Google. But Rocketship, the developer behind Adblock Fast, successfully appealed. A letter received by the developer from Google read, "We’ve accepted your appeal and your app has been reinstated. For the app to appear on the Play Store, you’ll need to sign into your Developer Console and submit your app again."
Adblock Fast has returned to the Google Play Store with an updated version,1.1.0. Crystal has also won its appeal from Google. According to those familiar with Google's thinking, the company had originally decided to allow ad-blockers only if they were part of a third-party browser app like Adblock Plus browser. Browsers offering ad-blocking extensions like the Firefox, Javelin, and Dolphin browsers would also be welcome. The sources added that Google wanted to remove stand alone ad-blockers like Adblock Fast and Crystal which were disseminated via APKs.
Section 4.4 of the Developer Distribution Agreement prohibits an app listed in the Google Play Store that "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."
One theory suggests that Google pulled Adblock Fast because it interfered with Samsung's web browser. But Samsung had recently issued a Content Blocker API for the browser, suggesting that it was authorizing third party ad-blockers for its browser. That should have meant that Section 4.4 of the DDA would not apply.
Other sources familiar with Google's plans say that the company will now allow apps to integrate with each other as long as it is done through an authorized channel, like an API.