Google Is Paying Mozilla $450M Per Year To Be The Default Search Engine On Firefox

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Mozilla laid off around a quarter of its staff earlier this week. Now, the company has signed a new deal with Google, which keeps Google as the default search engine.

The deal is said to be paying Mozilla around $400-$450 million per year. And that’s the majority of the money that Mozilla makes. Since it doesn’t run ads or have other businesses like other companies that have browsers. Almost all of its revenue comes from deals like this one with Google.

The new deal is good for three years, through 2023. So Mozilla shouldn’t need to lay off any more employees anytime soon.


As usual, the exact details of the deal have not been confirmed. But we may see more about these details when Mozilla reports its 2019 fiscal year earnings in November.

Over 90% of Mozilla’s funding comes from web search providers

Google is not the default search engine on Firefox everywhere. For example, it can’t be in China, since it is banned there. So Google isn’t the only one paying Mozilla to be the default search engine. However, it is paying the most.

In 2018, Mozilla made $430 million from internet giants, mostly Google. Out of the $451 million in revenue it made that year. And those deals were due to be renewed or renegotiated by November 2020. So this deal is right on track. Not a big surprise, but it is fairly surprising that Google is paying that much to ship with Firefox.


It’s important to note here that as a non-profit open-source operation, Mozilla basically spends as much as it makes. The 2018 staffing bill was around $286 million. That was with a headcount of 1,000, and making on average, $286,000 per person.

Mozilla isn’t the only company Google pays to be the default search engine

Mozilla is not the only one getting paid by Google to be the default search engine. Google has worked out deals with other companies and browsers as well. In fact, it pays Apple a pretty substantial amount to be the default search engine on Safari across all of its devices – macOS, iPhone and iPad.

And Google is paying Apple a lot more. We don’t know the actual number, just that it is in the “billions”. Though, Mozilla is getting nearly half a billion each year with this new deal.


Google isn’t the default search engine on Microsoft Edge though, and likely never will be. And that’s due to Microsoft wanting to push Bing over Google search. So it’s not default everywhere, but in most browsers, it is.