A court in Italy has imposed fines of more than SFr50 million ($30 million) on three Swiss companies found guilty of participating in a cartel in the car insurance market.
The fines were imposed after the court rejected an appeal against a ruling in August by the competition authorities.
Winterthur Insurance is being fined SFr33 million, with Zurich Financial Services having to pay SFr15 million and Helvetia Patria SFr3 million.
In all, 38 companies were found guilty of participating in the cartel and face total fines of SFr555 million. The firms involved cover 80 per cent of the Italian car insurance market.
The authorities said the companies exchanged information on policies. In their defence, the accused said data regarding the market was already in the public domain.
The companies have one month to lodge an appeal with Italy's highest administrative court. The three Swiss firms have already said they intend to pursue an appeal.
swissinfo with agencies