Oath, the company that now owns Yahoo has sued Mozilla after the latter decided to replace Firefox’s search engine from Google to Yahoo. After a few hours, Mozilla filed a countersuit.
Mozilla had launched its much-publicised lightning fast Quantum browser three weeks ago. Alongside the company also announced to ditch Yahoo as its default search engine and move to Google. Mozilla had inked a deal with Yahoo in 2014 to make it the default search engine in the U.S for a full five-year period.
Oath says that Mozilla terminated a long-term strategic agreement with Yahoo on November 10. Yahoo adds that prior to filing the suit, it demanded that Mozilla take immediate steps to cure its breaches and rescind its termination. Oath in a statement said, “We recently exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo based on a number of factors including doing what’s best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users.”
Mozilla’s countersuit refers to non-payment of fees from the agreement. The company claims that switching to Yahoo was done with the understanding that the search engine would receive significant investment to make it more competitive with the likes of Google and that other one you sometimes use by accident.
Many of the specific details of the counter complaints are redacted in the court filings, but Mozilla’s Denelle Dixon, chief business and legal officer, said that all the company had done was exercise its contractual rights, “based on a number of factors, including doing what’s best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users.”
Although users can always switch their default engine manually, having a default search engine on a popular browser like Mozilla has an impact on the user.