Hounded by spyware charges, Direct Revenue shuts down

Adware vendor DirectRevenue has gone out of business.

Notorious adware maker DirectRevenue has closed shop.

The company, which was recently doing business as Best Offers, gave no reason for its sudden closure, which was announced on its Web site. "Best Offers and Direct Revenue have ceased operations. To service legacy consumers we are maintaining this page of uninstall instructions, an uninstall software tool, and an e-mail based support service."

E-mail sent to the Gmail address listed on the company's Web site was returned as undeliverable.

DirectRevenue was founded in 2002, but it managed to make a lot of people unhappy during the course of its short life. Its software, which was often installed without user consent, would bombard victims with unwanted pop-up ads and was difficult to remove.

The company was fined US$1.5 million by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission in February and it was also sued by the New York attorney general. Critics called the FTC fine a slap on the wrist, however, as the company is thought to have made more than US$20 million from its questionable business practices.

"This is a business that never should have existed," said Ben Edelman, a critic of the company who is an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School. "They never did anything useful for users and merely preyed on victims too trusting or hurried to protect themselves from DirectRevenue's attacks."

Company management had recently positioned Best Offers as a legitimate software company, and Edelman said that he did not know if they were planning on continuing in business under a different name.

"The people behind this company walked away with tens of millions of dollars," he said. "They've got the money. If they're smart they'll take it and run."

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Robert McMillan

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?