Mozilla files countersuit against Oath over default search engine choice

Mozilla files countersuit against Oath over default search engine choice

Firefox default search providers in other regions are Yandex in Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan; Baidu in China; and Google in the rest of the world. Even if Mozilla did leave and make another deal, Yahoo was still required to pay the annual revenue guarantee of $375 million. Last month, Mozilla terminated that deal and made Google the default search engine in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

"Had Yahoo not breached the strategic agreement, the search functionality in Firefox would have been used more and the Firefox product itself would have more users, Mozilla would have been able to enter into a deal with a higher price following the termination of the strategic agreement, and there would have been relevant search alternatives in the marketplace, including Yahoo".

Given that Yahoo had been awarded a 5-year contract until 2019 you might expect that Mozilla would now have to pay compensation to Yahoo's new owner, Oath, which is part of Verizon. This has been termed by Mozilla as a breach of contract. (In response, Mayer's legal team agreed to have her testify before the Senate Commerce Committee-an outcome Mayer had initially resisted-and reportedly requested that lawmakers withdraw the subpoena in order for her testimony to "appear voluntary.") Now, her specter is reportedly haunting the remains of a deal between Yahoo's new owner, Oath, and Mozilla, inciting a legal battle. This is why the current dispute between Mozilla and Yahoo has led to legal action on both ends. 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.

Yahoo as a search engine has been facing tough competition from the search engine giant Google. Prior to the 2014 deal, 90% of Firefox users stayed with the default search engine, according to Mozilla.

Also of interest is a section explaining that when Mozilla went to market for a search partner in 2014, it considered Yahoo! a very risky proposition and sought special protections in its contract. "Yahoo Acquirer's leadership provided no vision, no structured, documented and vetted strategic path forward, and no assurances as to a commitment of the resources necessary to improve Yahoo Search such that it would meet" and then some more redaction cuts in. "Because there was no improvement in the product quality, tests demonstrated that users continued to switch away from Yahoo Search, whether branded Yahoo or not", Mozilla alleges. In addition, $375 million is a massive amount of money, even for Verizon's stature.

"Verizon's policy positions are also diametrically opposed to Mozilla's positions on core issues such as net neutrality and cybersecurity", Mozilla-a big support of net neutrality-said in the complaint.