South Korean police said on Tuesday they had raided Google Inc's Seoul office on suspicions the Internet search firm's mobile advertising unit AdMob had illegally collected data, the latest setback to its operations in the country.
The probe comes as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission is considering a broad investigation into Google and reportedly alerting high-tech firms to gather data ahead of a probe of Google's dominance of the Internet search industry.
A police official said on Tuesday it had raided Google's Korean office over illegal data collection by AdMob.
We suspect Admob collected personal location information without consent or approval from the Korean Communication Commission, the official said.
A Google spokesman confirmed that the police had visited its Seoul office and told Reuters the company was cooperating with their investigation.
Google has already been the target of a series of probes in Korea and the United States over data collected by its controversial fleet of Street View cars since last year.
South Korea's top Internet portals filed a complaint with anti-trust regulators last month claiming Google was unfairly stifling competition in the mobile Internet search market of one of the world's most wired countries.
(Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Miyoung Kim and Jonathan Hopfner)