Sci-tech

Yahoo sues Mozilla for breach of contract -- so Mozilla counter sues Yahoo

Yahoo sues Mozilla for breach of contract -- so Mozilla counter sues Yahoo”

Writing yesterday on the Mozilla blog, chief business and legal officer Denelle Dixon said her organization chose 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. It 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.

Mozilla's countersuit refers to unpaid fees from the agreement. In a counter complaint, Mozilla says that it was not only justified in terminating the contract early, but that Yahoo Holdings and Oath still have a bill that needs to be settled.

Immediately following Yahoo's acquisition, we undertook a lengthy, multi-month process to seek assurances from Yahoo and its acquirers with respect to those factors. (In response, Mayer's legal team agreed to have her testify before the Senate Commerce Committee-an outcome Mayer had initially resisted-and reportedly requested that lawmakers withdraw the subpoena in order for her testimony to "appear voluntary.") Now, her specter is reportedly haunting the remains of a deal between Yahoo's new owner, Oath, and Mozilla, inciting a legal battle. The lawsuit is demanding that Mozilla pay damages. "The terms of our contract are clear and our post-termination rights under our contract with Yahoo should continue to be enforced", Mozilla legal head Denelle Dixon said in a statement.

In 2014, Mozilla and Yahoo came to an agreement that would see Yahoo serve as the default search engine in Firefox for the next five years till the end of 2019. The lawsuit focuses on Yahoo Holding and Oath which was based on Mozilla's agreement with the search engine for putting the default search browser in their web browsers.

The terms of our contract are clear and our post-termination rights under our contract with Yahoo should continue to be enforced. The dispute in court will likely boil down to a factual determination of whether Mozilla's concerns were legitimate and supported by evidence. No relationship should end this way - litigation doesn't further any goals for the ecosystem.

These issues began early in the relationship.

"Rather than focus on improving the quality of its search product, as Yahoo assured Mozilla it would prior to entering into the deal, Yahoo continually focused on short-term monetization and special events such as the Olympics and the election, at the expense of product quality", Mozilla alleges. Mozilla determined in January 2015 that the user experience Yahoo Search provided was sub-par [and] identified "five areas I'd like to push Yahoo! on of the next few weeks". But at the same time, what has to be considered is that while Mozilla's Firefox has a market share of 13 per cent, at the same time, Google's Chrome has a market share of close to 60 per cent. We measure our success not only by the adoption of our products, but also by our ability to increase the control people have in their online lives, our impact on the health of the internet, our contribution to standards, and how we work to protect and build the web that users need and want. It attributes this (at least in part) to Yahoo search.

Yahoo as a search engine has been facing tough competition from the search engine giant Google.



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