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Mozilla could walk away with $1B if it doesn’t like Yahoo’s buyer (2016) (recode.net)
51 points by Redoubts 29 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 16 comments



The tl;dr here is simple: Mozilla made a hedge that Yahoo! would sell themselves to someone terrible during the period of their contract, Yahoo! did, and Mozilla collected on the proceeds to the tune of $350 million-ish USD.

It was a gamble Yahoo! was desperate to take, so they did, and it didn't pay off in the long run (especially since for a large number of users it simply meant a one-time nuisance of switching the search provider back to a real search engine).

But Mozilla made out like bandits on the deal due to their executives smartly calling the future of Yahoo!. Good on them.


I think people on HN drastically overestimate the number of people who switched their search engine after this.


News from 2016, but given that the yahoo contract was supposed to extend until 2019, yet Mozilla is now switching its default provider to Google, I found this article highly relevant.


Can you add "(2016)" to the title? (I hope they get the $1B)


It is, I had already forgotten about it. Thank you for submitting this!

(we should all try harder not just to submit the story of the day, but also past stories that illuminate current affairs or can be seen in a different light with today's information)


> According to the change-of-control term, 9.1 in the agreement, Mozilla has the right to leave the partnership if — under its sole discretion and in a certain time period — it did not deem the new partner acceptable. And if it did that, even if it struck another search deal, Yahoo is still obligated to pay out annual revenue guarantees of $375 million.

How desperate must Yahoo have been to agree to these terms? Did Mayer really not know they were going to sell? Because even if they thought Mozilla would like the new owner this contract still incentivizes them to walk and collect two cheques.


Despite Yahoo being a terrible company, it's someone else's money! Do the right thing Mozilla - don't steal, even if your contact allows you to


It's not "someone else's money". It's Yahoo's (or Yahoo buyer's) money.

And that money has been priced into the buying price of Yahoo, as the article shows.

I'm strongly in favor of Mozilla taking that money and doing awesome things with it.


Yahoo signed a risky contract, and not because they were tricked. They were trying to improve their odds of a good outcome, and hedged for that by offering a payout in the event of a bad outcome. Mozilla has every reason to exercise what was basically a clause designed to protect them in this exact situation.

(And admittedly, I'm pleased to see Mozilla get a payday that'll help them keep the browser market competitive.)


What kind of worldview sees taking money from corporations through a contract as stealing? That's how corporations act and they should be treated the same way. It's not like it's some mom and pop store that didn't have the legal or financial resources and got backed into a shitty deal


Teach your kids that lesson - "never steal, except from people you dislike". Morals aren't conditional, they need to apply uniformly.


No teach them "if you bet your money on something, there is a chance of losing it". Step down from your high horse please.


Or teach your kids contract law, and make sure that they know how to comply and interpret them. Complying with a legal contract is not stealing. So learn how to write or negotiate the best contract for yourself is the only way to be moral in this world.


unconditional morals are the cause of every violent conflict in history.


That's a very easily refutable claim.


To add to the other comments, I can't imagine it doing Firefox's marketshare much good for Mozilla to be associated with Verizon...




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