Mozilla and Yahoo Counter Sue Over The Firefox Default Search Engine

Firefox for Android

Last month I wrote about the changing of the default search engine from Yahoo to Google in the latest Mozilla browser.  At the time, Yahoo had just been purchased by Verizon and had been assimilated into the new Oath business of the company.  The agreement between then Yahoo and Mozilla was for some $750 million but Mozilla, based on the purchase of Yahoo, felt they had a way out of the agreement and still get paid.

My quote at the time:  Right, so pay attention on this one because this is going to get interesting.

Well, it just got interesting.

Yahoo filed a lawsuit on December 1st claiming that Mozilla was in breach of contract for changing the default search engine.  Mozilla then counter sued on December 5th stating that Yahoo owed them the remainder of the contract fees and that they were within their contractural rights to cancel the agreement.

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Firefox Dumps Yahoo for Google as its Search Engine

Firefox for Android

Right, so pay attention on this one because this is going to get interesting.

Firefox, the Internet browser from Mozilla, has a new branding and messaging.  The new name:  Firefox Quantum and the company reports that it is up to 30% faster than Google Chrome.  Great, competition is good and Firefox is a solid browser.

The interesting part is the default browser in this latest update.  It is now Google Search, not Yahoo has it has been since 2015.  That’s when Yahoo agreed to pay some $375 million to Mozilla to have Yahoo as the default search engine in Firefox.  The deal was reportedly through 2019.  Deals like this are not new.  But there appears to have been a kicker in the deal for Mozilla.

To be clear, we are talking about the default search engine here in the United States.  In other parts of the world, Google has been the default, not Yahoo.

It has come to light that a clause in the agreement that, if Yahoo were purchased, Mozilla could change the default search engine and still get the payments through 2019.  That means, assuming payments for 2017 were paid, Yahoo would still have to pay Mozilla some $750 million – and not be the default browser.

For those that don’t remember, Verizon purchased Yahoo earlier this year.  Anyone want to make bets at the number of Verizon lawyers looking this over?

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Yahoo Shareholders Approve Sale to Verizon

Yahoo Round Logo

Yahoo stockholders, in a special meeting held yesterday, have approved the sale of the company to Verizon.  The news came from Yahoo’s Investor Relations site and was a short but important announcement.

Yahoo stockholders approved the previously announced proposed sale to Verizon Communications Inc. (“Verizon”) of the Company’s operating business (the “Sale Transaction”). In addition, Yahoo stockholders voted to approve the advisory vote on the compensation payable to the Company’s named executive officers in connection with the completion of the Sale Transaction.

The announcement goes on to say that the expected close date of the sale is June 13, 2017.  The company will then be named Altaba, inc..  The total cost of the transaction is $4.48 billion and will position Verizon as a significant player in the digital marketing sector, their primary purpose for making the acquisition.

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Flickr Update Abandons Yahoo Account Requirement

Flickr Sign Up Doesn't Require a Yahoo Account

Yahoo has rolled out an update to Flickr for Android that over all, isn’t that exciting.  It is mostly a bug fix release and a new notable feature of seeing photos from your groups within your feed on the home page.  The bigger news in this update however is there is no longer a requirement to sign up with a Yahoo account.

It goes without saying that Yahoo is an unholy mess.  The company, once one of the pillars of the online world, is a shadow of itself and Verizon looks to be picking the carcass for valuable bits.  If and when that happens, Yahoo will have a name change and will cease to exist.  But one that that will stick around it seems is Flickr.  The photo storage & sharing company was acquired by Yahoo back in 2005 and one of the early changes they made to the app was the requirement for a Yahoo account.  At the time, it angered a lot of pre-Yahoo users but 11 years later, the requirement has been abandoned.

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Yahoo Reports A Security Breach – 2 Years Later

Yesterday Yahoo announced that in late 2014, a security breach on their network resulted in some 500 million user accounts being compromised.  Yet the company just now reported it.  The hack, which the company believes was state sponsored, compromised accounts and user data including names, birthdays, email addresses, passwords, security questions, and telephone numbers but, thankfully, did not include payment or bank data.

Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network. Yahoo is working closely with law enforcement on this matter.

Security breaches in companies happen and far to often than they should.  It is a constant cat-and-mouse game between companies and blackhats, especially those blackhats who are working for governments around the world.  My issues is that it took Yahoo two years to tell users and even then, it wasn’t in big bold letters. It was a frickin’ Tumblr post.  Really?

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Flickr App Gets A Big Update With Auto Upload Functionality

Yahoo has released a big update to the Flickr app for Android that brings a host of new features including the ability to auto upload your photos to the cloud service.  The update version will vary per device but on my BLU VIVO IV running KitKat 4.4, it is version 4.0.1 for those keeping score at home.  There are a lot of other changes in this update and if you are a Flickr user you need to get it.  Along with the auto uploading feature there are UI improvements and photo editing capabilities built into it.

Flickr for Android – Free – Download Now

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