Mozilla drops Google as default search for Firefox, signs 5-year deal with Yahoo!

20 Nov 2014

Mozilla is partnering with Yahoo! to be its default search partner over the next five years, ending a collaboration with Google that goes back to 2004.

The decision is likely to be a consequence of Google creating its own Chrome browser in 2011, which quickly surpassed Mozilla’s Firefox browser as a popular choice.

“Google has been the Firefox global search default since 2004,” said Mozilla’s CEO Chris Beard.

“Our agreement came up for renewal this year, and we took this as an opportunity to review our competitive strategy and explore our options.

“In evaluating our search partnerships, our primary consideration was to ensure our strategy aligned with our values of choice and independence, and positions us to innovate and advance our mission in ways that best serve our users and the web.

“In the end, each of the partnership options available to us had strong, improved economic terms reflecting the significant value that Firefox brings to the ecosystem. But one strategy stood out from the rest.”

Mozilla’s new strategy for Firefox

Beard said Mozilla is changing its strategy for Firefox search partnerships, ending the practice of having a single global default search partner.

The move effectively gives Mozilla scope to partner with prominent search providers in other regions, such as Baidu in China and potentially Yandex in Russia.

In Europe, Google will remain the default search partner for Firefox.

Mozilla said Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo, eBay, Amazon, Twitter and Wikipedia will continue to be built-in as alternate search options.

“Our new search strategy doubles down on our commitment to make Firefox a browser for everyone,” Beard said.

Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer described Mozilla is an inspirational industry leader that puts users first and focuses on building forward-leaning, compelling experiences.

“We’re so proud that they’ve chosen us as their long-term partner in search, and I can’t wait to see what innovations we build together,” Mayer said.

“At Yahoo!, we believe deeply in search – it’s an area of investment, opportunity and growth for us. This partnership helps to expand our reach in search and also gives us an opportunity to work closely with Mozilla to find ways to innovate more broadly in search, communications, and digital content.”

“We believe it will empower more people in more places with more choice and opportunity to innovate and ultimately put even more people in control over their lives online.”

Mozilla image via Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years