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The use of ad blocking programs to avoid online advertising has become increasingly popular over recent years. In this video, ANTON SOBOLEV considers the strategic and welfare effects of ad blocking. Employing a theoretical model that establishes a network of key players to simulate the advertising and product markets, Sobolev finds that ad blockers’ impact varies according to the competitiveness of the market. Notably, in less competitive markets, ad blockers can have the effect of softening competition. The research provides new insights into ad blockers’ anti competitive effects and future research will explore in greater detail the ways in which advertisers and publishers have responded to the emergence of these tools.


Anton Sobolev is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Economics at the University of Mannheim. Having completed his PhD at the University of Vienna in 2018, he has also been a visiting researcher at the University of Oxford. Sobolev’s research focuses on industrial organization and digital economics. In 2015, Sobolev received a Young Economist Award from the Austrian Economic Association.


University of Mannheim (Universität Mannheim)

For generations, the University of Mannheim has been preparing students to take on leadership roles in business, academia, and society. One of the university’s strengths in this task is its profile, which is characterized by the economic and social sciences. It is in these fields that the University of Mannheim has repeatedly been ranked as one of the top 20 European research institutions. Key focuses of Mannheim researchers include decision-making processes and elections, governance, regulation, competition and innovation, migration and multilingualism, and the culture of change. The campus surrounding Mannheim’s baroque palace is a place where bright minds from across the globe come together to learn, discuss, research, and prepare to make their mark on the world.
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Original publication

Ad Blocking, Whitelisting, and Advertiser Competition

Sobolev Anton, Martin Peitz and Paul Wegener
Published in