While rivals have warned of Google’s privacy problems and market dominance through monopoly power, many are reportedly hesitant to pursue antitrust measures due to their reliance on the tech giant’s money. In the case of Mozilla, which makes the Firefox browser to rival Google’s Chrome, the vast majority of its revenue comes from an agreement to make Google the browser’s default search option.
Bloomberg reports that while many companies such as Mozilla, the maker of the Firefox web browser, have been vocal about their worries relating to Google’s market dominance, as the government draws closer to a full antitrust action some are beginning to hesitate due to their reliance on Google’s money.
Mozilla, for example, has been sounding the alarm on Google for some time after Google undercut its Firefox web browser by using its vast engineering resources, financial muscle, and allegedly dirty tricks to promote its Chrome web browser. Since then, Mozilla has gone to great efforts to raise awareness of Google’s business practices, at one point even purchasing a billboard in the Bay Area that read “Big Browser Is Watching You,” with the “browser” designed to look similar to the Google logo.
But just hours after the Department of Justice filed an antitrust lawsuit against Google on October 20, Mozilla published a blog post warning the government not to go too far in its investigation. The Justice Department’s case focuses primarily on Google’s practice of spending billions of dollars a year to make itself the default search engine on browsers, smartphones, and other devices.
Google also pays Mozilla for the privilege of being the default search engine on Firefox and that money accounts for the majority of Mozilla’s overall revenue.
Roxi Wen, Mozilla’s chief financial officer, commented on the deal stating: “This deal exists because our users want Google search. We’ve been emphasizing to the regulators that harming a company like Mozilla is really not the path to increase competition or benefit consumers.”
Mozilla is not the only company that has developed a similar deal with Google, one of Google’s biggest rivals Apple also has a similar agreement making Google the default search engine on Apple devices. Read more about that deal at Breitbart News here.
Government officials, however, are arguing in recent filings that Google is essentially paying to prevent rivals from competing with them. In July, the U.K.’s antitrust regulator concluded: “Particularly on mobile devices, the current scale and breadth of payments by Google harms competition between search engines.”
Read more about how an antitrust investigation of Google could affect smaller companies at Bloomberg here.
Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address firstname.lastname@example.org