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TeliaSonera, the cellphone provider, has a browser with which you can connect to the web called Surf Open. When you view a web page with Surf Open, you'll see a header, a matching menu footer, and advertisements from Telia in both areas - above the newspapers site. Basically - the browser removes any ads displayed on the newspapers site and inserts TeliaSonera's own ads. This pissed newspapers off enough when Surf Open launched in February that over 40 newspapers joined the boycott and disabled Surf Open browsers from accessing their content. For a while, Surf Open didn't show their own ads at all, but today they relaunched with ads again.
"The provider owns the area in the display", says Telia's Information Director Bengt Olsson to Medievärlden and adds "the newspapers haven't understood how the internet works"
"I'll assume that they misquoted him, else the man is an idiot" said Morris Packer from Expressen's mobile content to Veckans Affärer, and Anna Serner agrees with him: "That's like saying that the mailman owns your mailbox."
"Everyone realizes that it is unreasonable that a distributor - in this case Telia - should make money off of advertising space that other parties - the newspapers - have already sold. A reputable company such as TeliaSonera should surely be able to generate revenue in a more responsible manner," said Anna Serner, Managing Director of the Swedish Newspaper Publishers' Association.
For those who think that this idea is comparable to the Opera browser's advertising display or other (free) software that displays ads to stay free, keep in mind that TeliaSonera is a distributor that has customers paying to use this service, and they are locked to using this system only. What if the broadband internet that you paid for locked you to one browser and put their ads all over it, would you think that was OK?