Mozilla, Google renew Firefox deal

Agreement sees Google remain as default search for Firefox browser, ending uncertainty over Mozilla's fate and revenue as other browsers eat into its market share.

Mozilla has signed a new deal with Google, which will remain the default search provider in its Firefox browser for at least another three years, ending uncertainty over the company's declining market share--and revenue--as other browsers including Google's Chrome gain stronger market foothold.

"We're pleased to announce that we have negotiated a significant and mutually beneficial revenue agreement with Google," Mozilla said in a blog post Tuesday. "This new agreement extends our long-term search relationship with Google for at least three additional years."

"Mozilla has been a valuable partner to Google over the years and we look forward to continuing this great partnership in the years to come," Alan Eustace, senior vice president of search at Google, added in the post.

The news comes amid uncertainty over Mozilla's future as its flagship browser faces declining market share, while rival browsers such as Google's Chrome continue to see their market share climb. According to statistics from Net Market Share, between 2009 and 2011, Firefox market share dropped from 25 percent to 22 percent while Chrome surged from 5 percent to 18 percent.

In addition, a whopping 84 percent of Mozilla's US$123 million revenue in 2010 came from Google, with which it had signed a three-year partnership in 2008, according to a ZDNet US report.

Firefox's rapid-release schedule, where the browser version gets updated every six weeks, was also ill-received by enterprise customers which were not equipped to handle the pace of change.