It all comes right down to one problematic contract clause created in 2014.
Deals between web browser suppliers and search engine providers are business. For Mozilla, agreements with search engines have brought in as much as US$300 million a year, that accounts for 90 % of its financial gain. therefore the stakes are high amid the latest tech company quarrel, that sees Mozilla end its partnership with Yahoo because of claims it hadn’t been paid. Neither party is happy with the situation, thus they are suing each other.
Back in 2014 Mozilla and Yahoo struck a deal that may see Yahoo act as the default search engine in Firefox through 2019. But now, 2 years early, Firefox has reneged on the agreement, opting for Google instead. This looks like a shady thing to try and do, which is why Yahoo’s parent company Oath — that was created when owner Verizon incorporated Yahoo and Aol — has filed a complaint, alleging the agreement has been terminated incorrectly.
However, Mozilla claims its actions are in line with the contract that was signed at the time, which includes a clause that stipulates Yahoo must continue to make payments to Mozilla till the contract end date, although Yahoo is not any longer used as the default search engine. This problematic deal was struck by former ceo Marissa Mayer, who, in an attempt to lure Mozilla away from Google, offered the browser provider unprecedented protection in a change-of-control scenario, giving it the right to run away from the partnership if it didn’t regard the new partner acceptable. Mayer was presumptively under the impression it’d never really return to fruition, however Yahoo was this year bought under the Oath umbrella, and here we are.
Mozilla wants Yahoo to continue making its annual payments even though it’s not Firefox’s default search browser, as the original contract stipulates, while Yahoo says it should not have to because Mozilla is not playing fair and besides, the problematic deal was made by Yahoo’s former CEO and isn’t necessarily indicative of the company’s present-day vision. It’s a remarkable, messy case, and one we’ll be hearing way more about in the future.