Published: Fri, December 08, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Mozilla and Yahoo! launch high-cost lawsuit

Mozilla and Yahoo! launch high-cost lawsuit

Mozilla on the other hand claims that it had the right to end the agreement due to a clause in the contract which stipulates that Yahoo must continue to make payments to Mozilla until the end date even if it is no longer default search engine in Firefox. While Mozilla is claiming the annual $300 million payment that Yahoo is legally contracted to pay over the use of the latter as the default search engine on Firefox, Yahoo believes it is unfair on the part of Mozilla to demand the amount given that Mozilla has stopped using Yahoo as the default search engine on its browser. That relationship ended early when Mozilla released the much-improved Firefox Quantum browser last month, with Google as the default search provider. This led Yahoo's parent company, Oath to file a complaint in which it alleged that the software company had hurt the search engine's business by terminating the agreement early.

In response, Mozilla said it exercised its contractual right to terminate the agreement, and cited providing quality search results, experience, and "what's best for our brand" as reasons for its action. A spokesman for Oath, a division of Verizon that now includes Yahoo, did not return a request for comment.

In short - Oath blames Mozilla. Attorneys representing Mozilla also did not respond to inquiries. Web browsers, where most Internet users start their online visits, are a lucrative source of search traffic against which companies like Yahoo and Google sell ads.

Deals with search providers are big money-spinner for Mozilla, bringing in around US$300m a year and contributing around ninety per cent of the foundation's revenue.

Although there aren't any details available on the contract signed by the companies, Mozilla claims that the terms for termination were laid out clearly.

Mozilla said that Yahoo and Oath, the name of the Verizon subsidiary that Yahoo now operates under, sued Mozilla on December 1 on the grounds that it improperly terminated the agreement.

While we haven't yet noticed any improvement in Firefox's share of the browser marked - at the end of November it was 13.54% compared to Chrome's 58.83% according to NetMarketShare, the fact that has achieved very real increase in performance should make an impact over the coming months.

A new prototype extension for Firefox will alert an internet user if the website they land on has been breached. It was a good move for the search provider - at least, it was until Verizon came along. Russian Federation and other nearby territories now default to Yandex and in China, it has switched to Baidu.

"Despite Yahoo's representations and contractual obligations under the Strategic Agreement, Yahoo failed to deliver what it promised", Mozilla said in its lawsuit. In its announcement, it noted that Google was now the default search provider in the United States and Canada.

Former Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer left the company after the Verizon acquisition was completed, losing out on $14 million in bonus and award money based on investigations into the breaches. Once valued at $125 billion, the company's acquisition by Verizon represented the "saddest $5 billion deal in tech history", according to Forbes.

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