Mozilla Inks Multi-Year Firefox Search Deal With Google That Drives 90% Of Its Total Revenue

ff logo
It was reported that earlier this week that Mozilla's current Firefox default search deal with Google is set to expire in November 2020 and that no new agreement had been made. Today, it has been confirmed that Mozilla has inked a three-year deal to retain Google as the default search provider in Firefox. 

The news of the Google lifeline first was reported by ZDNet, which was able to confirm the news via multiple sources. Mozilla later added confirmations of the news itself by stating:

Mozilla's search partnership with Google is ongoing, with Google as the default search provider in the Firefox browser in many places around the world. We've recently extended the partnership, and the relationship isn't changing.

We reported yesterday that Mozilla is on shaky financial ground, and as a result has laid off 250 people, or roughly 25 percent of its workforce. There are a number of reasons for Mozilla resorting to this dramatic workforce shift, with the company citing COVID-19 and problems with offering compelling revenue-generating apps.

One item of note that we keyed in on with our last story is that Mozilla is overly reliant (some might even say that Mozilla is dangerously reliant) on Google for the bulk of its revenue. It's been reported that $430 million of the $450 million that Mozilla reported in revenue for 2018 came from its Firefox default search agreement with Google. And any disruption to that lucrative revenue stream could mean disaster for Mozilla.

The final agreement, which said to be worth anywhere from $400 million to $450 million per year, will last through late 2023. This is definitely great news for Mozilla, which has seen Firefox fall from second place to third place in the desktop browser market. The second place position is now occupied by Microsoft Edge, which uses same underlying Chromium engine as Google Chrome.

Now that Mozilla's finances appear to be solid -- at least for the next few years barring any unforeseen events -- the company will definitely need to ramp up its new paid products and subscription services that it envisions will help add to its bottom line. We saw the first fruits of these labors with its VPN service, but the company is also reportedly eying likeminded tech acquisitions to expands its footprint.