Google will be hit with subpeonas launching a broad formal investigation into whether the company has abused its powerful position in Internet advertising.

Google has confirmed that the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing its business practices.

We recognize that our success has led to greater scrutiny, wrote Amit Singhal, a Google Fellow, on the company blog. We're committed to giving (users) choices, ensuring that businesses can grow and create jobs, and, ultimately, fostering an Internet that benefits us all.

Based in Menlo Park, California, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) has been high flying in recent years, becoming one of the world's largest and most viable companies in the new economy through Internet search, cloud computing and advertising technologies. The pre-eminent company in web advertising, authorities will apparently explore through a civil probe whether the company has taken advantage of its lofty position by ranking its own services ahead of others in search results and also over how the company charges other companies for placing ads.

Google handles about two-thirds of all U.S. web searches.

The 12-year-old company has been the target of multiple antitrust probes in recent years but this civil suit holds the potential of being the most serious threat to the global e-services provider.