Microsoft's Yahoo pursuit a mistake, claims AOL's Falco

LONDON - AOL chief executive Randy Falco has labelled Microsoft's potential takeover of internet rival Yahoo a mistake.

Speaking at the US Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual meeting, Falco claimed AOL could benefit from the fallout of a potential Microsoft and Yahoo deal, as its two biggest rivals turn their attention to challenging Google at search marketing.

Falco said: "I hope they (Microsoft and Yahoo) beat each other's brains out over search and leave the display advertising market to us. I think it's a mistake, but I think Napoleon said, 'never interrupt your enemy when they're in the middle of making a mistake'."

Since Falco joined AOL in November 2006, from his position of president and chief operating office at US TV network NBC, he has overseen continual investment in improving AOL's display ad offering.

AOL has bought behavioural targeting firm Tacoda, mobile ad network Third Screen Media, German ad network AdTech and targeting firm Quigo under Falco's tenure. This month it added to its advertising armoury by purchasing affiliate network