Money Talks: Google, Mozilla Strike New Firefox Search Deal

Google was in position to deal a mighty blow to Mozilla and its Firefox browser. With the search agreement between Google and Mozilla expired, all Google had to do was turn its back on Mozilla, and just like that, the browser maker would have lost a ginormous portion of its revenue. In the end, however, money talks, and both sides figured out it was in their respective best interests to hammer out a new search deal, so that's what they did.

In a blog post last night, Mozilla said it "negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google" that will extend their partnership for at least three more years.

"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," said Gary Kovacs, CEO, Mozilla.

Mozilla stopped short of outlining specific terms of the agreement, but it's no secret Mozilla relies heavily on Google's contributions. In 2010, Mozilla's revenue was $123 million, and of that, $103 million -- or 84 percent -- came from Google. Based on those figures, you can see why it was so important for Mozilla to hammer out a new search deal.

It was also important for Google, whose Chrome browser is now the No. 2 browser in the world in terms of market share, according to StatCounter. But only by a smidgin. By StatCounter's figures, Chrome and Firefox are neck and neck at around 25 percent each. By not re-upping its search agreement, Google would have given up all the revenue that comes from a 25 percent user base.