By , Angela Moscaritolo
Published July 05, 2016
Things have apparently gone from bad to worse for Ashley Madison.
Following the now-infamous cheating site's very public breach and dump of user data last year, Ashley Madison parent company Avid Life Media is now being investigated by the US Federal Trade Commission, according to Reuters. Details of the probe are scant, and Avid told Reuters it does not know the focus.
The FTC did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but does not typically discuss its investigations.
Reuters suggests the probe may have to do with the so-called fembots Avid used to impersonate real women and talk to paying male customers. US users reportedly exchanged messages with these bogus babes until the end of last year, when Avid shut down all the fake profiles. Another dating site reportedly paid more than $616,000 to settle with the FTC for similar practices in 2014.
Meanwhile, the breach itself has already cost Avid big time: more than a quarter of its revenue is now down the drain, Chief Executive Rob Segal and President James Millership told Reuters. Both executives were hired in April, and are now working to "revive" Ashley Madison's credibility.
But they're facing a bevy of challenges. For starters, Avid is on track to post $80 million in revenue this year, down from $109 million in 2015, the report notes. And aside from the FTC probe, Avid is facing US and Canadian class-action lawsuits from customers whose information was released.
One way the new executives are hoping to reinvent Ashley Madison? The company is now reportedly "spending millions to improve security" and offer users more privacy. "We are profoundly sorry," Segal told Reuters.