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Italian authorities fine insurance companies

Three Swiss insurance companies are being fined a total of more than SFr50 million by the Italian authorities for illegal agreements in the car insurance business.

The three – Winterthur, Zurich and Helvetia Patria – are among 38 companies which are facing fines of SFr559 million by the Italian competition regulators.

The three are going to appeal against the fines.

Winterthur has been fined SFr33 million and is not making any comment about the case until the appeal is heard. Helvetia Patria has been fined some SFr3.4 million and Zurich is said to have been fined SFr16 million.

The 38 companies involved account for some 80 per cent of car insurance policies in Italy.

They are accused of having exchanged information on prices since 1993 when the car insurance sector was liberalised. Launched 10 months ago, an inquiry has concluded that the companies’ practices were harmful to competition and led to an increase in prices for policies.

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR