Four companies behind millions of spam emails, calls and texts have been fined a total of £600,000 by the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO).

Port Talbot-based Barrington Claims Limited was fined £250,000 for 15 million automated calls and Newday Limited in London was fined £230,000 for over 44 million spam emails.

Meanwhile, Liverpool-based Goody Market UK Limited was ordered to pay £40,000 for 111,367 spam texts and TFLI Limited in Macclesfield was fined £80,000 for almost 1.2 million spam texts.

The ICO’s investigation into the four businesses was prompted by hundreds of complaints from the public.

"Firms cannot get away with failing to follow the rules designed to protect people from the irritation and, on occasions, distress nuisance calls, emails and texts cause," said ICO enforcement group manager Andy Curry.

"I would urge anyone bothered by nuisance marketing to report it to us. Your reports help us take action against firms like those we have fined today, putting a stop to the trouble they cause."

All four of the businesses broke the law by not having people’s agreement to be contacted by them.