updated 01:47 pm EDT, Fri June 8, 2012
Google deal presumed to influence Mozilla decision
Mozilla will replace Yandex with Google as the default search engine in Russia for the next version of Firefox. Local favorite Yandex has been the default option for the Russian version of the browser since 2009, but will be replaced earlier than the end of the year as previously stated, according to The Next Web. The Russian search company will continue to offer its own Yandex-branded version of Firefox, however, until the end of the year.
Although the Yandex agreement for browser development does not force Mozilla to place it as the default search engine, Mozilla is believed to have made the change under pressure from Google; Yandex has a 60 percent market share in Russia, overshadowing Google's 26-percent cut. Google is reportedly paying Mozilla $300 million per year to be the default choice of search engine, believing that most people use the address bar for search instead of navigating to a search engine at the start.
Google came under fire from Yandex co-founder Ilya Segalovich in April for anti-competitive behavior. The Russian rival labeled the Android OS a “strange combination of openness and not openness,” believing that since users cannot easily contribute to Android's source code, it is merely semi-open.