Electronics

Mozilla and Yahoo! launch high-cost lawsuit

Mozilla and Yahoo! launch high-cost lawsuit

Firefox users may be happy to see Google as the browser's default search engine again.

On December 1, Yahoo fired the first shot filing a complaint that alleges Mozilla breached a contract that existed between the two companies by terminating the arrangement early. Yahoo's new parent Oath filed a complaint against Mozilla in a California court on December 1, alleging a breach of contract.

Mozilla's countersuit refers to unpaid fees from the agreement. Oath says that Mozilla "terminated a long-term strategic agreement with Yahoo" on November 10. She also noted that although numerous legal issues between the two organizations are confidential, Mozilla plans to create a wiki page and provide other details publicly in the interest of openness and transparency.

Summary: The new owner of Yahoo is getting into a legal battle with Mozilla over a poorly made contract by former CEO Marissa Mayer.

We recently exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo based on a number of factors including doing what's best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users. Last month, Mozilla terminated that deal and made Google the default search engine in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

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Mayer did not think that such a thing would happen, but Yahoo's purchase by Verizon triggered the stipulation. The company also says that the original deal obligates Yahoo to continue to make annual payments to Mozilla, even though Yahoo is no longer the default search engine. It attributes this (at least in part) to Yahoo search. According to Recode, there is a clause in the agreement that states that if Yahoo is acquired by another company during the term of the contract and Mozilla does not like the new partnership, it can walk away from the 2014 agreement.

Deals between the software companies that develop web browsers and search engine providers can be quite lucrative and these agreements have earned Mozilla as much as $300 million a year or 90 per cent of its income.

"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", Dixon said. It has also said that it had to take the decision to remove Yahoo as the default browser because continuing to use Yahoo as the default browser would have had a negative impact.

Mozilla continued these types of discussions with Yahoo in March 2015, reiterating that Mozilla "wants improvement for both parties to grow marketshare", but the "current experience is causing users to move". The search company further claims that Mozilla's actions significantly damaged its reputation and business. 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. Future proceedings should prove interesting.


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