Mozilla and Yahoo! launch high-cost lawsuit

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Mozilla on the other hand claims that it had the right to end the agreement due to a clause in the contract which stipulates that Yahoo must continue to make payments to Mozilla until the end date even if it is no longer default search engine in Firefox.

In response to the lawsuit by Oath, Mozilla stated: "We recently exercised our contractual right to terminate our agreement with Yahoo based on a number of factors including doing what'd best for our brand, our effort to provide quality web search, and the broader content experience for our users".

Mozilla's countersuit refers to unpaid fees from the agreement.

Mozilla has claimed that Yahoo as a search engine was not able to uphold quality standards and that is the reason for the termination of the contract. "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".

Nearly exactly three years later, when Firefox Quantum was released, on November 14 2017, Mozilla reverted to making Google the default search engine in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan, while retaining Yandex In Russia, Turkey, Belarus and Kazakhstan and Baidu in China.

On 1 December, Yahoo Holdings and Oath filed a complaint against Mozilla - claiming it improperly terminated its agreement with Yahoo.

We remain focused on the recent launch of Firefox Quantum and our commitment to protecting the internet as a global public resource, especially at a time when user rights like net neutrality and privacy are under attack. The dispute in court will likely boil down to a factual determination of whether Mozilla's concerns were legitimate and supported by evidence.

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Writing yesterday on the Mozilla blog, chief business and legal officer Denelle Dixon said her organization made a decision to terminate its agreement with Yahoo/Oath based on a number of factors, including doing what's best for the brand, its effort to provide quality Web search, and the broader content experience for its users.

Yahoo Search consistently failed to retain users and search volume over time, reducing the potential revenue [for Mozilla] under the Strategic Agreement.

"No relationship should end this way - litigation doesn't further any goals for the ecosystem", she said.

These issues began early in the relationship.

"The payments owed by Yahoo are key to financing Mozilla's efforts to launch the new version of its flagship product, Firefox", the complaint says. "Mozilla determined in January 2015 that the user experience Yahoo Search provided was sub-par". The buyer must do this even if they did not want to work with Mozilla.

Mozilla cites third-party data that asserts that during the term of the agreement, Firefox lost market share to Chrome. Other parts of Yahoo's business have been renamed "Altaba".

Due to the unstable condition of Yahoo, Verizon chose to buy the search engine company along with all its other subsidiaries.

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