Mozilla has reached an agreement to continue to keep Google as the default search engine on its Firefox web browser.
The news comes amid worrying times for Mozilla, as the company announced last week that it was being forced to lay off around a quarter of its staff.
ZDNet initially reported that a deal had been struck over the weekend, estimating that it would be worth between $400m and $500m annually.
According to ZDNet, the new deal is likely to keep Google as the default Firefox browser in relevant territories until at least 2023.
The existing deal was set to run out by the end of this year.
Neither Google nor Mozilla has yet made an official statement, but a spokesperson confirmed to The Verge that the partnership was “ongoing”.
Justin O’Kelly told the publication via email: “Mozilla’s search partnership with Google is ongoing, with Google as the default search provider in the Firefox browser in many places around the world.
“We’ve recently extended the partnership, and the relationship isn’t changing.”
While Google is the preferred search engine in the majority of Firefox territories, the default is set to local giants Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China.
The companies behind these search engines pay big money to have their search engines set as the default, and it is believed that the majority of Mozilla’s income comes from these deals.
In a blog post last week, Mozilla’s CEO Mitchell Baker said that the company would look to cultivate new income streams and develop new products “that people love and want to use”.
Previous attempts to diversify, including the Firefox smartphone and Firefox OS, have failed to make a major impact, but Firefox’s share of the web browser market has also declined significantly over recent years.
In the blog post, Baker said that the company’s plans to shed 250 employees – roughly a quarter of its workforce – was influenced by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic.
She said that the virus and associated lockdowns had “significantly impacted our revenue”.