11.16.2017

Mozilla Ends Search Deal with Yahoo

Google is Now the Default Search Engine in Firefox


With the release of Firefox Quantum, Mozilla has potentially created one of the most drastic web browser updates in years. Firefox 57, which has been given the moniker Quantum, makes Firefox much faster and lighter, once again becoming a contender for top web browser. Along with Firefox Quantum's official release, Mozilla has announced the end of a 2014 deal with Yahoo over the coveted spot of default search engine.

The change will affect users from the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan. Mozilla’s deal with Yahoo made it the default search engine, but provided other popular options like Google, Bing and DuckDuckGo as opt-in choices. Originally the deal was to last five years, but some consider the deal as one of the first moves in Firefox’s fall from grace, and this early termination as a step toward user’s best interests.

“The change will affect users from the U.S., Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.”

Mozilla Chief Business and Legal Officer Denelle Dixon said in a statement, “We 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. We believe there are opportunities to work with Oath and Verizon outside of search."

Mozilla’s decision will leave Google as the most used search engine in the world with market share higher than April's estimated 77%. Some exceptions such as China’s Baidu and Russia’s Yandex exist, but Google currently controls the web by a large margin. 

In the past, search engine royalties have been the biggest driver of revenue for Mozilla. In 2014, $323 million of the Mozilla Foundation’s $330 million revenue came from search engine royalties. Neither Mozilla nor Google has released details of the deal, but hopefully Mozilla’s yearly financial statement will clear up some of the murky details.