Mozilla, Yahoo Sue Each Other Over Firefox's Default Search

Mozilla, Yahoo Sue Each Other Over Firefox's Default Search

Nearly exactly three years later, when Firefox Quantum was released, on November 14 2017, Mozilla reverted to making Google the default search engine in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while retaining Yandex In Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan and Baidu in China. 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.

Yahoo!'s complaint [PDF] was posted by Mozilla and is heavily-redacted, but the gist of it is simple: the companies had a deal, Mozilla welched, and that means Yahoo!

Last month, Mozilla announced it would return to the warm embrace of its longtime search-engine provider in Canada, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and the U.S. The announcement, Recode reports, spurred a legal battle with Yahoo Holdings and Oath, which filed a complaint last week alleging Mozilla had improperly terminated its agreement.

The contract, however, was very much skewed in Mozilla's favor. However, it seems that there were some terms in the deal that gave Mozilla the right to walk away.

Mozilla counters in a complaint brought in the same court that the contract included a clause that allowed it to terminate the partnership. As the news of takeover emerged into the market, the agreement between Yahoo and Mozilla explicitly stated that the acquiring company would pay Mozilla $375 million per year through 2019 if Mozilla wasn't satisfied with the new owners of Yahoo.

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Summary: The new owner of Yahoo is getting into a legal battle with Mozilla over a poorly made contract by former CEO Marissa Mayer. Google has been Mozilla's partner in other countries even though Mozilla has deals with Baidu in China and Yandex in Russian Federation.

Yahoo Search consistently failed to retain users and search volume over time, reducing the potential revenue [for Mozilla] under the Strategic Agreement.

Mozilla unveiled its new lightning-fast Firefox Quantum browser three weeks ago, and the reception has been one of widespread adulation. In the midst of the negotiations, some fine print in the Mozilla / Yahoo contract surfaced. "The terms of our contract are clear and our post-termination rights under our contract with Yahoo should continue to be enforced", Mozilla legal head Denelle Dixon said in a statement.

The browser developer notes that Verizon in 2014 agreed to pay $7.4 million to settle a privacy investigation by the Federal Communications Commission. "Mozilla determined in January 2015 that the user experience Yahoo Search provided was sub-par".

Immediately following Yahoo's acquisition, we undertook a lengthy, multi-month process to seek assurances from Yahoo and its acquirers with respect to those factors. Still, we are proud of how we conducted our business and product work throughout the relationship, how we handled the termination of the agreement, and we are confident in our legal positions.

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