According to a contract seen by Recode, Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer struck a deal with Mozilla in 2014 specifying annual payments of $375 million (£290 million) to the browser creator in exchange for Yahoo’s search engine appearing in the default position on Firefox. That $375 million price tag will be paid out every year until 2019 one way or another—even if Mozilla doesn’t like the company that buys Yahoo and decides to walk away.
Of course, if Mozilla decides it likes whichever company buys the embattled search giant, then payments continue as before and the new owner of Yahoo’s search engine retains the default position on the browser.
The trick then, is, finding a buyer that is committed to keeping Yahoo’s search product robust, Recode says, at least for the next three years. If a potential buyer was thinking of abandoning search, however, that could come at a very steep price, as it would send Mozilla searching for a better search engine to serve up to its users.