Yahoo’s parent Oath and Mozilla are suing each other over latter’s decision to switch back to Google as default search engine. Oath filed a complaint against Mozilla last week citing improper termination of agreement and now Mozilla has filed a counter suit claiming breach of contract. Also Read - Yahoo Groups to shut down from December 15Also Read - Mozilla extends deal to use Google Search as default on Firefox browser
Both the companies fighting over a 2014 contract signed by then CEO of Yahoo Marissa Mayer to use Yahoo as default search engine on Mozilla’s browser. According to Recode, the terms of agreement specified that whoever acquires Yahoo is entitled to pay Mozilla annual payments of $375 million through 2019. The obligation applied even if Mozilla did not think the buyer was the one it planned to work with and drops Yahoo as search engine on its browser. Also Read - Mozilla launches VPN service in 6 countries for mobile and PCs
Mozilla announced its plan to switch back to Google as its search provider in the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan last month. The announcement came as part of company’s launch of a new browser called Firefox Quantum.
There is a lot of excitement around the launch of Firefox Quantum among web users and Yahoo evidently wants to stay as the default search provider. However, Mozilla has made it clear in a statement released on Tuesday that it evaluated Verizon deal and decided to exercise its contractual right to terminate Yahoo as default search engine.
“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. 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,” Mozilla said in a statement.
Oath, a subsidiary of Verizon and parent of AOL and Yahoo has not issued any official response to Mozilla’s counter suit. However, it is clear that Yahoo is feeling left out in the search market dominated by Google after the termination of its deal.