The US Federal Trade Commission is examining whether Google deceived consumers by planting so-called Internet cookies in Apple’s Web browser without users’ consent, Bloomberg reported on Friday.
The agency is investigating whether the cookies allowed it to aim advertising at users of Apple’s Safari browser, and also whether Google violated other rules involving consumers’ consent, Bloomberg cited sources as saying.
The FTC and Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Friday.
Bloomberg reported on Thursday that the FTC had asked Apple for more information regarding how it incorporates Google’s search function into its products. The Internet search giant has been accused of using its clout in the search market to shut out rivals, like travel search, by putting them low in search results.
In January, regulators expanded a probe to include Google+, the search giant’s new social networking tool, which launched last June and offers many of the capabilities available on Twitter and on Facebook.