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03 Jan 12 Chrome, Firefox Engineers Defend Google, Mozilla Search Deal


Chrome, Firefox Engineers Defend Google, Mozilla Search Deal
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Engineers for
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Mozilla’s desktop browser teams lashed out at media
reports that questioned the companies’ renewed deal to put Google search in the
Firefox browser toolbar.

Google and Mozilla renewed their deal to feature
Google as the default search provider for the Firefox toolbar Dec. 20. Google
pays Mozilla a portion of ad revenue generated from those searches.

Google and
Mozilla both declined to provide financial terms of the new arrangement due to
confidentiality agreements the companies inked. AllThingsDigital said the deal was worth $300 million a year for
at least the next three years, valuing the deal at $900 million.

This sum, if
true, is worth more than three times more on an annualized basis than the
previous arrangement Google and Mozilla forged, when Mozilla reported earning
nearly $100 million of its $123 million in 2010 revenue from its deal with
Google.

Google clearly
paid a premium to keep Mozilla from making Microsoft Bing or Yahoo its default
search provider. What makes the deal particularly intriguing is that Google’s
Chrome Web browser has made huge market-share gains in just three and a half
years since it launched, growing to 19 percent while Firefox has fallen under
22 percent, according to the latest Net Applications numbers.

TechCrunch
blogger-turned venture capitalist MG Siegler expressed surprise that Google would
pay that much money to fund a competitor: “One thing is certain: Google is
not paying Mozilla a billion dollars out of the kindness of their hearts. Doing
so would be irresponsible to their shareholders. Again, they’re paying all that
money to a competitor.”

This
sentiment, echoed by other journalists, elicited some commentary from key
Chrome and Firefox browser engineers.

Peter Kasting,
who Google hired to work on Firefox before the company built Chrome, argued
that Google is funding an open-source partner to help advance the Web, both in
introducing a faster browser and spurring browsers, such as Firefox, Microsoft
(NASDAQ:MSFT) Internet Explorer and Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) Safari, to get better.

“It’s
completely irrelevant to this goal whether Chrome actually gains tons of users
or whether, instead, the Web advances because the other browser vendors step up
their game and produce far better browsers. Either way, the Web gets better.
Job done. The end,” Kasting wrote on Google+ Dec. 24.

“So it’s
very easy to see why Google would be willing to fund Mozilla: Like Google,
Mozilla is clearly committed to the betterment of the Web, and they’re spending
their resources to make a great, open-source Web browser.



Article source: http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Application-Development/Chrome-Firefox-Engineers-Defend-Google-Mozilla-Search-Deal-739999/

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