Jonathan Nightingale, a tech professional who formerly worked at Mozilla, has made detailed allegations that technology giant Google has been sabotaging Firefox, Mozilla’s browser. Nightingale claims Google has been acting in this manner for years in order to provide Google Chrome with an advantage.
The Intricate Relationship
The connection between Google and Mozilla is a complex one to say the least. While Alphabet, Google’s parent company, and Mozilla both offer competing services in the realm of browsers, the two software corporations are also intertwined in terms of revenue-producing partnerships.
Initially, Google’s partnership with Mozilla revolved around the fact that Google and, in turn, its parent company Alphabet, paid Mozilla to make Google the default search engine on its Internet browser, Firefox. The partnership was a lucrative one for both parties, as Google grew its reach and its revenue while Mozilla received royalty checks stemming from the partnership.
So lucrative was the partnership for Mozilla that it was eventually revealed that much of its revenue stemmed from the royalty checks sent by Google. In its 2007 annual report, Mozilla stated:
“Today, the majority of Mozilla Corporation revenue is generated from global browser search partnerships, including the deal negotiated with Google in 2007 following Mozilla’s termination of its search agreement with Yahoo/Oath.”
In 2008, Google launched its own internet browser called Chrome. Following the beta release of the explorer, Google also swapped out Firefox for Chrome as the default explorer within its search engine.
Speaking to Computer World at the time, Mozilla’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) at the time, John Lilly, explained that the relationship between the two parties had morphed into a more convoluted one with the emergence of Chrome. He said:
“We have a fine and reasonable relationship.