Google and Mozilla to extend search deal according to reports
Reports suggest that Google and Mozilla will extend the search deal that makes Google Search the default search engine of the Firefox web browser in most regions by three years.
ZDnet reports that Mozilla and Google will extend the search deal for another three years. Google will pay Mozilla between $400 and $450 million per year for the privilege of becoming the Firefox web browser’s default search engine in most regions.
Forbes’ report followed claiming that the Google and Mozilla deal was done. The news organization did not provide information on the specifics of the deal though.
Mozilla announced a second round of layoffs this week after it announced in January 2020 that it laid off 70 employees. In August 2020, Mozilla revealed that it would lay off 250 employees, a good quarter of the organization’s entire workforce to better prepare for the coming years.
The announcement was published at a time when it was not clear if the Mozilla-Google search deal would be renewed. Most of Mozilla’s revenue comes from the search deal with Google, and failure to renew it would put the company in a difficult situation considering that more than 90% of its entire revenue would vanish overnight.
While Mozilla would have some options to find another partner, e.g. Microsoft’s Bing Search engine would be the first choice probably because of Microsoft’s financial capabilities, it would probably result in Mozilla being paid less for the deal.
Mozilla or Google have not confirmed the deal yet.
A renewed partnership with Google would give Mozilla three more years to find new revenue sources outside of its main revenue generating product Firefox. While it is possible that a deal could be renewed again in 2023, Mozilla’s reliance on a single source of revenue is something that the organization has been worried about for some time.
Mozilla launched a white labeled VPN product called Mozilla VPN recently in some regions. The commercial product uses a subscription model but it is to early to tell how successful it will be in the long run. Considering that the price is $5 at the time per month, and that part of the revenue goes straight to the actual operator of the VPN, Swedish company Mullvad, it would take lots of customers to reach even 1% of the money that Mozilla gets from Google per year for the search deal.