Mozilla Takes $300M Gamble on Yahoo to Reassert Its Independence
NEWS ANALYSIS: Mozilla shifts its search allegiance from Google to Yahoo. What is the impact for its Firefox browser, users and the big money behind it all?In a surprise move late on Nov. 19, Mozilla and Yahoo jointly announced a five-year partnership that will see Yahoo Search become the default search engine in the open-source Firefox Web browser. The Yahoo partnership marks the end of a decade-long partnership that Mozilla had with Google that paid it hundreds of millions of dollars in royalties per year, helping to fund Mozilla's development and overall operations. The Google-Mozilla partnership was last renewed in 2011 and was set to renew again by the end of this year. While considering the Google deal renewal, Mozilla also considered other strategic options, including a deal with Yahoo. Full details on the new Yahoo deal are not being publicly revealed. What is known is that Yahoo will be the default search engine for Firefox users in the United States. The Yandex search engine is set to become the default search engine for Firefox users in Russia, and Baidu will become the default search engine for Firefox users in China. A Yahoo spokesperson told eWEEK that the partnership with Mozilla is a revenue-sharing agreement and includes certain guarantees. Beyond that, the terms of the deal are confidential. Along with Mozilla leveraging Yahoo as its default search provider, the agreement provides a framework for exploring future product integrations, the spokesperson noted.
Mozilla was similarly nonspecific about the terms of the new deal with Yahoo.