It is now left to the courts to decide if Yahoo should still be paying Mozilla $300 million a year even though Yahoo has ceased to be the default search engine on Firefox.
Mozilla and Yahoo are suing each other over matters that make one feel both to be right in their own respect. While Mozilla is claiming the annual $300 million payment that Yahoo is legally contracted to pay over the use of the latter as the default search engine on Firefox, Yahoo believes it is unfair on the part of Mozilla to demand the amount given that Mozilla has stopped using Yahoo as the default search engine on its browser.
However, while it does seem unfair for Mozilla to expect Yahoo to pay the sum in spite of it having assigned Google as the default search engine on Firebox browser. And there is legal backing to it as well given that Yahoo did give Mozilla the leeway to change the search engine anytime it wanted while still being liable to the payment.
The contract to this effect was signed by former Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer and can be seen as a desperate attempt to wean Mozilla away from Google. The contract was signed in 2014 and remains in effect till 2019.
However, Yahoo changed hands in between with Verizon being the new owners. Overseeing matters at Yahoo is a new company called Oath formed with the merger of AOL and Yahoo. And Oath is accusing Mozilla of violating terms of the agreement, which forms the basis of its legal complaint against the browser.
The oath is also claiming that the contract was signed by the former CEO of Yahoo and should apply to the new owners. Further, the agreement does not fit the visions of the new owners of Yahoo, which is another reason for them not to continue obliging the same.
Meyer might have believed Mozilla would never exercise such a clause which sure is too one-sidedly against the interest of the company. Or maybe Mozilla would never need to look anywhere else as long as Yahoo was on-board.
Yahoo had earlier been taken by complete surprise with Mozilla opting to terminate the contract unilaterally. It had then stated they are taking to Mozilla and hoped to reach an amicable solution. What seems evident is that those efforts have proved to be futile with the courts left to sort out the mess.