A TRIO of ferry companies plying their trade across the Straits of Gibraltar have been found guilty of price fixing.

Trasmediterranea, Balearia and FRS have been fined 16.3m euros after being found guilty of the fraud.

The National Competition Committee found that tickets for ferries between Algeciras and Ceuta were kept artificially high between February 2008 and April 2010.

After agreeing to comply with the authorities Balearia had its fine reduced to just 2.35 million euros, while FRS was fined just 1.8 million as it joined the scheme much later.

Trasmediterranea was fined the highest amount of 12.1 million euros.

The firms were found guilty of using an interchange system whereby passengers could board any ferry, regardless of which operator they had purchased their ticket from.

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