THE European Union has launched a probe into financial data provider Thomson Reuters over fears that it is threatening competition by locking customers into its services.<br /><br />European Commission competition regulations said antitrust investigators would look at whether Thomson Reuters was abusing its market dominance by making it hard for customers to use third-party software to translate Reuters’ codes. <br /><br />The probe will focus on real-time market datafeeds of trading prices which Thomson Reuters supplies to banks. The feeds use Reuters Instrument Codes (RICs) to identify the feeds. <br /><br />The Commission is concerned that customers are unable to use competing datafeeds alongside the Thomson Reuters service because it restricts its codes. <br /><br />“There are three... competitors in this area and none of them have this restriction,” the Commission said.