Oath Sues Mozilla Over Search Deal; Latest Mobile Commerce Data

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Sly As A FireFox

Verizon’s Oath is in a legal dispute with Mozilla in response to the browser operator’s surprise decision to break its contract and revert to Google as the default search provider for Firefox. Marissa Mayer struck the original deal in 2014 between Mozilla and Yahoo, offering lucrative terms in exchange for Firefox’s slice of the search market. One unusual term in the contract granted Mozilla the right to break off the deal in case of an ownership change … and still receive an annual $375 million fee through 2019. “It was a scenario that Mayer never thought would happen,” reports Kara Swisher at Recode. “No relationship should end this way,” writes Mozilla legal head Denelle Dixon in a statement. “(Still), we are confident in our legal positions.” More.  


According to Adobe’s holiday ecommerce tracking, US shoppers have spent $65 billion via their computers, phones and tablets since the beginning of November. Overall seasonal ecommerce in 2016 was $94.4 billion, which Adobe expects to be outpaced by $13 billion this year. US consumers have now spent more than $1 billion online for 36 consecutive days (since the beginning of November), and daily shopping tends to strengthen through Christmas. AdExchanger has more on the growth of mobile commerce this holiday season.

We Are Growing Up

Omnicom’s We Are Unlimited, the dedicated agency spun out of DDB to service the McDonald’s account, has a new CEO. Starting Jan. 8, iCrossing’s New York president, Mark Mulhern, will take the helm from former BBDO senior director Brian Nienhaus, who has led the agency since its launch last year. Under Mulhern, We Are Unlimited will look to build momentum with new clients as its 18-month exclusivity agreement with McDonald’s comes to an end. According to DDB CEO Wendy Clark, We Are Unlimited is “looking to pivot from a startup into a more sustainable agency,” AdAge reports. More.

Lap Of Luxury

The European Union’s top court issued a ruling Wednesday giving luxury brands a powerful tool “to safeguard their exclusivity, which has become a key concern as the sector expands online sales,” writes The Wall Street Journal. The case was brought by US-based cosmetics company Coty against a German retailer that had been reselling products on Amazon. Luxury brands aren’t solely distinguished by higher-quality materials, “but also of the allure and prestigious image which bestows on them an aura of luxury,” according to the court. “Aura” is a vague term, but essentially it means brands that rely on a sense of exclusivity can dictate to third-party partners where their products appear online. In the US, brands like Birkenstock, Patagonia and Ralph Lauren have fought to keep their products off Amazon, even going so far as to threaten to blacklist retail distributors who resell products knowing they’ll end up online. More.

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