Mozilla renews search deal with Google

Posted by Emma Woollacott

Google will be the default search engine for Mozilla's Firefox for a further three years, following the extension of the deal between the two.

It's good news for Mozilla, which gets the overwhelming majority of its income from the search deal - as much as 84 percent, or around $103 million.

"Under this multi-year agreement, Google Search will continue to be the default search provider for hundreds of millions of Firefox users around the world," says Gary Kovacs, CEO of Mozilla.

The existing deal has been in place since 2008. Mozilla appears to have flirted with the idea of switching to Microsoft's Bing instead, after creating a customized version of its browser a couple of months ago that used it as a default.

And the fact that the existing deal between Mozilla and Google expired in November indicates that there was at least some dithering going on.

It's unclear as to why Mozilla decided to play it safe and stick with the Google deal; presumably, Microsoft wasn't offering anything any better, perhaps because it's already satisfied with Bing's modest but solid success.

The fact that Google's own browser, Chrome, has overtaken Firefox in terms of market share doesn't seem to have been too much of a hurdle for Mozilla - and may also explain why Google's keen on the deal. With the company under investigation over anti-trust allegations, propping up a rival browser is a good bit of PR.

“Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come,” said Alan Eustace, Senior Vice President of Search, Google.