The US Federal Trade Commission, FTC, has referred a complaint against TikTok and its Chinese parent company ByteDance over potential violations of children’s privacy to the Department of Justice, DOJ.

The FTC says its own investigation uncovered reason to believe that the firms are violating or are about to violate the law.

The case is separate from legislation passed earlier this year to ban TikTok in the US if ByteDance does not sell the business.

The regulator said its investigation focused on potential violations of the FTC Act and the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, COPPA.

The FTC also said it does not usually announce that it has referred a complaint to the DOJ but in this instance felt doing so was in the public interest.

COPPA governs the collection, use and disclosure of personal information by online services about children under 13-years-old.