AOL has stumped up a reported $275m to buy behavioural targeting company Tacoda – a move designed to boost the targeting abilities and reach of its online ad network

The deal is the latest in a string of acquisitions by the web giant following its shift away from subscriptions onto internet advertising.

Ron Grant, AOL’s president and COO said:

“We are committed to bringing advertisers and publishers a full range of tools and services, along with the widest reach, and with Tacoda we’re taking another step toward that goal.”

Tacoda, located in New York, operates an online ad network based on behavioural targeting, and will be used by AOL to glean user data from its sites and those of its publishing partners. It looks like a good fit.

According to ClickZ, AOL was one of two strategic investors that had shown an interest in Tacoda, which had been considering whether to sell up privately or go for a flotation.

The move follows AOL’s failed bid for affiliate network Tradedoubler earlier this year – also designed to extend’s reach - but it has been steadily expanding its offering for online advertisers.

Over the last year or so, it has snapped up mobile ad network Third Screen Media, ad serving company AdTech and video ad firm Lightingcast.

The deal is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions, AOL said.