Racketeering is good semantics for their current business model indeed, as there is no supervision whatsoever right now. Like Bild (end everybody else) I also don't think Eyeo is doing this in a "transparent enough" way that there's no doubt they aren't enforcing an "advertising fee" in their "controlled space of the web" (i.e. everyone who uses their adblock, their only de facto product). It should be clear enough for users of adblock, and for "payers" of whitelisting what this money is for, and a clear description of what "work" it entails to whitelist some ad (and/or an entire website/domain).
If it is to be done right, Eyeo needs to disclose publicly it offers two products: AdBlock - a free piece of software that has no direct form of revenue; and "Verified Whitelisting", a service that consists solely on periodic validation of conformity (with their "sensible ads" paradigm) for each company that so requests.
Eyeo then needs to bill each company transparently for the actual work hours taken to verify the requested pages (including hours wasted in scenarios that involve telling the company some site does not conform due to reason XYZ). But most importantly, these billed hours need to be made public. Only through transparency can companies AND users be assured that Eyeo is doing what it publicizes it does (only validate "sensible ads", and not any ads by highly-profitable payers). This way, the practice starts entering legal ground. It's pretty much a process like legalizing weed - the state can be sure there's no trafficking because all business go through their supervision, but mostly just the fact it is due to go through state supervision is enough to stop abuse. Give supervision power to every user of adblock, and Eyeo is sure to do most of its business in the way they publicize, without actually making more money than they should be doing for such an easy job.
And most important of all - AdBlock development costs cannot overlap with the whitelisting paradigm costs. This final detail is what separates racketeering from the legal practice of creating this "sensible ads" paradigm and its validation process.
Disclaimer: this is my opinion. I am no Law expert, but to me - as a citizen and user of adblock - this is what makes me comfortable. I will stop using adblock as soon as I see abuse in this whitelisting process in clear form. But I am not a company paying for whitelisting, so I don't get their side of the picture as well as I should.