``The firm previously said Moody's takes the quality of its ratings and the integrity of the ratings process very seriously. It also said the firm has protections in place to separate the commercial and analytical aspects of its business.

The U.S. Justice Department filed a $5 billion lawsuit against S&P late on Monday and accused it of an egregious scheme to defraud investors in the run-up to the financial crisis, fueled by a desire to gain more business.''

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