It is pretty obvious why companies like Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo would want their search engines to be the default on browsers. For example it has been reported that Google had paid Apple billions to remain the default search engine on iOS devices, while companies like Yahoo inked deals with Mozilla to become Firefox’s default search.
However it seems that the deal is over because it looks like Google has since reverted to becoming Firefox’s default search engine again. Speaking to TechCrunch, Mozilla Chief Business and Legal Officer Denelle Dixon said, “As part of our focus on user experience and performance in Firefox Quantum, Google will also become our new default search provider in the United States, Canada, Hong Kong and Taiwan.”
That being said, TechCrunch notes that the deal between Yahoo and Mozilla was supposed to last for five years, meaning that it should have ended in 2019, which means that Mozilla had terminated the deal early. According to Dixon, “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.”
It is unclear what this move meant for Mozilla as according to Recode, there was a clause in the contract where Mozilla would have to pay Yahoo’s potential acquirer $375 million per year through 2019 if they did not wish to work with them. Whether or not this was exercised is unclear, but there’s a chance that it could.