Fimalac is selling a 20% stake in its Fitch credit rating company to Hearst, which gives Hearst a total of 40% ownership. Fimalac might also consider selling another 10% in Fitch to Hearst in
coming years, says Fimalac's founder.
Fitch, Moody's and Standard & Poor's dominate the market for credit ratings. Lawmakers and some investors have chided the agencies for giving stellar ratings to bundles of debt that actually comprised U.S. subprime mortgages at high risk of default. News organizations, such as Hearst's newspapers, have covered how losses on these high-risk mortgages helped spawn the credit crisis.