According to The Mozilla Blog, Google paid just shy of $300 million per year to be the default choice in Mozilla’s Firefox browser. The total amount is almost $1 billion, a large leap from its previous arrangement, due to competing interest from both Microsoft and Yahoo.
Chrome engineer Peter Kasting spent Christmas Eve posting a Google Plus “rant” to discuss how misunderstood the transaction is amidst a firestorm of media reports that accuse the search engine giant of funding a web competitor.
Referencing MG Siegler’s Google Plus post on the matter, Kasting felt compelled to respond.
“People never seem to understand why Google builds Chrome no matter how many times I try to pound it into their heads,” wrote Kasting. “ It’s very simple: the primary goal of Chrome is to make the web advance as much and as quickly as possible. That’s it.”
Kasting also said, “It’s very easy to see why Google would be willing to fund Mozilla,” as both companies are committed to the “betterment of the web.”
The engineer admitted Google achieves direct value from Firefox users searching with Google by default.
“I’m not contesting that,” Kasting explained. “But the whole ‘You’re funding a competitor!!!’ angle is misguided. Google is funding a partner.”
Kasting’s self-dubbed “small rant” comes directly in the aftermath of Siegler’s post that claimed Google is a bankroller to “a browser which is a rival to their own browser.” Siegler is a general partner at CrunchFund and a columnist for TechCrunch.
In Kasting’s counter-argument, the engineer detailed that he was hired by Google to work on Firefox prior to Chrome. Eventually, he elaborated, Firefox’s successes led Google to become interested in building its own browser to “cause even greater increases in the rate at which the web advanced.”
“We and Mozilla are working together to make the web awesome,” Kasting concluded.