Firefox Quantum brought a major update to Mozilla’s browser and it makes a lot of changes for the better. One of those changes is minor, but definitely an improvement — Google is once again the default search engine.
We already know that Google pays quite a bit of money to be the default search provider on devices such as the iPhone, but for the past few years, Yahoo has been the default option for Firefox users. Back in 2014, Mozilla struck a deal with Yahoo, making Google simply an option for users to set after the fact.
Interestingly enough, as TechCrunch points out, that deal was supposed to last five years, but Mozilla decided to terminate the deal for the sake of its users. Denelle Dixon, Mozilla Chief Business and Legal Officer, said regarding the matter:
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. 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. With over 60 search providers pre-installed as defaults or secondary options across more than 90 language versions, Firefox has more choice in search providers than any other browser.
It’s unclear what Firefox is giving up in terms of revenue by terminating this Yahoo deal, although a report from Recode suggests that the company may have exercised a clause which would leave Yahoo paying $375 million per year even though Mozilla walked away. It’s also unknown if Google has made a deal with Mozilla to pay to be the default provider.