updated 02:55 pm EST, Tue December 20, 2011
Google funds Mozilla with three-year ad deal
Google kept Firefox active after Mozilla said that it was renewing a deal to make Google the default search in Firefox. A "significant and mutually beneficial" deal will keep Google as the default for a minimum of three years. Neither side would reveal what the terms of the deal were.
The deal is vital to both. Mozilla depends primarily on Google for its revenue. Google, meanwhile, is under FTC scrutiny for possible anti-competitive action and would draw fire if it withheld a deal and risked letting a major alternative browser fail. Microsoft could also swoop in and make Bing the default, which it has in a special version.
Chrome just recently passed Firefox in browser share, according to tracking data from StatCounter, leaving Google less dependent on deals with others to help boost Google's search share on the desktop and in mobile.