The Federal Communications Commission “drove a stake through the heart of the $77 billion online ad business” with a ruling Thursday that bars Comcast, Verizon and other Internet service providers from automatically tracking the Web-surfing activity of consumers, The New York Post reports.
“The regulator, in a 3-to-2 vote that increased internet privacy, ruled consumers have to give their OK before their online search history and other sensitive information is tracked and sold to advertisers,” the story reports. “The new rule takes effect immediately.”
The report adds: “The move threatens so-called targeted advertising, which is one of the main strategic benefits given by AT&T for acquiring Time Warner.
“The change also frustrates Verizon’s efforts to dominate the mobile ad arena via its AOL unit and its planned acquisition of Yahoo.”
The report notes that Facebook and Google are not affected by the new rule. “First, they are not regulated by the FCC, and second, users must sign in and that process contains an opt-in clause,” The Post reports.