The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is on the brink of launching a fresh antitrust probe into Google, over alleged misconduct over how it handles ad sales, according to Reuters.
Reuters said an unnamed source had confirmed the news on Thursday, adding that the investigation is still in its early stages and that the FTC had not yet sent out civil investigative demands ordering Google to hand over data.
The probe will focus on the tools Google purchased from display ad company Doubleclick in 2007. The FTC reportedly began the investigation following demands from a number of unnamed competing ad display firms, which accused Google of foul play. At the time of publishing neither the FTC or Google had responded to V3's request for comment on the report.
The FTC has mounted antitrust probes against Google in the past. The FTC previously mounted a 20-month investigation into whether Google was using its search dominance to promote its own services more than those of its competitors. The probe concluded in January when the FTC agreed to close its investigation if Google made a number of minor changes to the way it handles search and patent issues.
The search giant is also facing scrutiny in Europe. The European Commission launched a similar investigation against Google in 2010, to assess whether the firm is using its web search monopoly to leverage an unfair advantage over competitors. Most recently Google proposed fresh terms to the EC hoping to end the investigation.