Yahoo And Mozilla Sue Each Other Over Partnership Collapse

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer speaks at Tech Crunch Disrupt NY 2014- Day 3

Mozilla and Yahoo! trade sueballs over Firefox-Google search deal

"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".

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

Mozilla and Yahoo have filed complaints against each other regarding the use of Yahoo as Firefox's default search engine.

Mozilla had switched to Yahoo from Google when Mayer offered a beneficial deal that provided unparalleled terms protecting Mozilla in case there was a change-in-power at Yahoo.

Yahoo and Mozilla have sued each other over the recent unraveling of what was supposed to be a five-year search partnership. 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.

Oath, a Verizon subsidiary which controls Yahoo, has not yet commented on Mozilla's counter-claim. The public version of Yahoo's complaint, filed Friday in Santa Clara County Superior Court, was largely blacked out, presumably because the allegations include confidential contract terms.

Mayer did not think that such a thing would happen, but Yahoo's purchase by Verizon triggered the stipulation. Under the terms of the contract, which were revealed during Yahoo's sale process previous year, the party that would acquire Yahoo would have to pay Mozilla $375 million annually through 2019.

Mozilla has, however, defended the move claiming that it has the right to terminate the contract and take decisions that are best in the brand's interest and help it in improving the services for its users. Yahoo first filed a lawsuit against the developers of Firefox on December 1st, after what it considers as sufficient period for Mozilla to reverse its breach of contract. Otherwise, the acquiring company would have to pay Mozilla $375 million per year through 2019 to keep the contract.

"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", the company explained in a blog post yesterday. "When it became clear that continuing to use Yahoo as our default search provider would have a negative impact on all of the above, we exercised our contractual right to terminate the agreement and entered into an agreement with another provider". As early as January 2015, Mozilla began discussions with Yahoo on the shortcomings of the quality of the search product. 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.

Mozilla terminated the agreement that it had in place with Yahoo in early November, with Yahoo having allegedly ceased payments after the end of October.

Latest News