Having watched a number of mutual fund companies mishandle inquiries from securities regulators for the past 12 months, fund-tracking firm Morningstar knew what to do when faced with its own brush with the law.

The Chicago-based research firm announced plans last week to upgrade its procedures used to collect fund data on the heels of a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation to determine whether the company should face civil charges for failing to correct inaccurate information published on its Web site. News of the probe comes at an inopportune time for Morningstar, which plans to take the firm public later this year.

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