Five Consumer Groups Attack Ernst & Young

The Consumers Union, Consumer Federation of America and other top consumer advocacy groups have criticized Ernst & Young LLP for interpreting recently-adopted auditor-independence guidelines in its favor.

The consumer advocates have written to Securities and Exchange Commission chairman William Donaldson, claiming the company issued a memorandum saying that nonaudit services can be performed if they are not clearly banned under the new rules.

An SEC spokesman said that the letter, which was also received by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, will be considered.

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