Getty Images (GYI) said the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement division is probing the photo licensor's stock option grant practices and related accounting.
The Seattle-based company said its board formed a special panel to investigate.
The SEC asked Getty for certain information. The company said it is cooperating fully.
Getty said it will be unable to file its quarterly report on time as a result of the probe.
The news comes just two weeks after Getty shares were flattened by a third-quarter earnings shortfall.
Getty fell 30 cents Thursday to $43.85.