S&P says US government's lawsuit is "retaliation"

The Department of Justice filed civil charges against the rating agency in February and is seeking $5 billion in penalties.

The government claims S&P refused to warn investors that the housing market was collapsing because it would be bad for business. It also says S&P knowingly inflated ratings of risky mortgage investments that helped trigger an economic crisis.

S&P denies the claims and said in a court filing that it is being sued in retaliation for a downgrade of the country's top-tier credit rating in 2011.

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