EU and UK formally launch investigations into Facebook

The European Union and the United Kingdom have launched a formal antitrust investigation into Facebook Inc.’s (FB) classified ad service Marketplace, signaling increased regulatory scrutiny of the company in the European market.

The European Commission, the EU’s top antitrust enforcement agency, and the U.K.’s Competition and Markets Authority said Friday they are investigating whether Facebook changed the use of data it collected from advertisers to provide an illegal advantage for its own business, including its Marketplace online flea market.

The U.K. said it is also investigating whether Facebook used data from advertisers to provide a similar advantage for its online dating service.

The two antitrust regulators said they will coordinate their investigations.