Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer announced in the recent shareholders meeting that Yahoo may be increasing its search traffic. It is accomplishing that increase through a partnership with Oracle as Yahoo becomes the new toolbar to be pushed out with Java by default.
This change removes Ask Toolbar from being the opt-out sponsor offer for Java. The change of hands comes shortly after Microsoft hit Ask from the other direction by detecting Search Protection code and the Ask Toolbar as malware in its Microsoft Security Essentials, Windows Defender, and other products.
Using the Java offline installer currently avoids the toolbar but if you use the much more prominently published online installer. You will be prompted to “Get the best of the web with Yahoo”. The checkbox is checked by default and will impact Chrome and Internet Explorer by changing your default search engine and changing the new tab page.
Each update also contains this prompt. To not have to worry about the annoying bundled junkware that comes with Java, you can open the Java Control Panel and under the Advanced tab find an option to ‘Suppress sponsor offers when installing or updating Java’.
See this previous 404 Tech Support article on controlling these Java settings across your enterprise through Group Policy Preferences.