Just days after Yahoo Holdings/Oath sued Mozilla for breach of contract, the group behind the Firefox Web browser has fired again with a breach of contract countersuit of its personal.
The dispute has its roots in a 2014 partnership settlement wherein Mozilla agreed to make Yahoo the default search engine for Firefox within the U.S. Mozilla just lately terminated that settlement, citing a number of components stemming from Verizon’s $four.48 billion acquisition and restructuring of Yahoo earlier this 12 months.
The rebranded group, which incorporates Yahoo Holdings and a separate enterprise referred to as Oath, sued Mozilla for breach of contract on Friday in California’s Santa Clara County Court. The lawsuit seeks damages, court docket prices and different types of reduction that haven’t been publicly disclosed. Filed yesterday, Mozilla’s countersuit in flip seeks “general, specific, and compensatory damages.”
‘No Relationship Should End This Way’
Writing yesterday on the Mozilla weblog, chief enterprise and authorized officer Denelle Dixon mentioned her group determined to terminate its settlement with Yahoo/Oath primarily based on quite a lot of components, together with doing what’s finest for the model, its effort to supply high quality Web search, and the broader content material expertise for its customers.
“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,” Dixon mentioned. “When it became clear that continuing to use Yahoo as our default search provider would have a negative impact on all of the above, we exercised our contractual right to terminate the agreement and entered into an agreement with another provider.”
Dixon added that the phrases of Mozilla’s settlement with Yahoo clearly spell out its post-termination rights. She additionally famous that though lots of the authorized points between the 2 organizations are confidential, Mozilla plans to create a wiki web page and supply different particulars publicly within the curiosity of openness and transparency.
“No relationship should end this way — litigation doesn’t further any goals for the ecosystem,” she mentioned. “Still, we are proud of how we conducted our business and product work throughout the relationship, how we handled the termination of the agreement, and we are confident in our legal positions.”
In its criticism, Mozilla additionally requested that Yahoo adjust to the settlement’s cost necessities, noting that these “are key to financing Mozilla’s efforts to launch the new version of its flagship product, Firefox.”
Yahoo Claims ‘Competitive Injury’
Mozilla’s termination of its settlement is “a breach of the plain terms of the parties’ contract,” Yahoo Holdings/Oath mentioned in a closely redacted model of its Dec. 1 criticism. According to the lawsuit, Mozilla despatched the organizations a letter on Nov. 10 stating its intent to terminate the settlement “effective immediately.”
Yahoo/Oath is looking for damages, stating that it has “suffered and will continue to suffer competitive injury to its business and reputation, among other harm, and Mozilla’s material breaches and bad-faith conduct are a substantial factor in causing such harm.”
The lawsuits are simply the newest of many obstacles that Yahoo has confronted in recent times. Once valued at $125 billion, the corporate’s acquisition by Verizon represented the “saddest $5 billion deal in tech history,” in line with Forbes. Following the 2016 announcement of its intent to buy Yahoo, Verizon whittled down the value primarily based on Yahoo’s subsequent disclosure of main breaches in 2013 and 2014 that affected Yahoo’s three billion consumer accounts.
Former Yahoo president and CEO Marissa Mayer left the corporate after the Verizon acquisition was accomplished, dropping out on $14 million in bonus and award cash primarily based on investigations into the breaches. Yahoo additionally faces dozens of sophistication motion lawsuits within the U.S. associated to these breaches.
Following the closing of its buy, Verizon rebranded a number of Yahoo and AOL (a 2015 Verizon acquisition) companies below the title “Oath.” Other elements of Yahoo’s enterprise have been renamed “Altaba.”
Image credit score: iStock.
Mozilla, Oath Sue Each Other over Terminated Yahoo Search Engine Deal by: Pamela Hendrix published: