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Recode Daily: Unlike AT&T, Verizon is more interested in owning pipes than content

Verizon is exploring a combination with cable giant Charter Communications.

Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam
Drew Angerer / Getty

Verizon is exploring a deal with Charter Communications that would create a phone, cable and broadband behemoth — a different strategy than AT&T, which is betting on a combination of distribution and media with the proposed acquisition of Time Warner. — [Shalini Ramachandran, Ryan Knutson and Dana Mattioli / Wall Street Journal]

President Trumps border wall plan pushed U.S.-Mexico relations to a low point, as Mexico’s president canceled a meeting with Trump and the White House floated the idea of a 20 percent import tax to pay for the wall. Meantime, Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon labeled the media as “the opposition party” and said it should “keep its mouth shut.” — [Michael D. Shear, Binyamin Appelbaum and Alan Rappeport / New York Times]

Alphabets Q4 revenue beat analysts’ forecasts, but profits fell short, sending the stock down 2 percent. Microsoft’s sales and earnings topped expectations, thanks to growth in its cloud services and a modestly improving PC business. — [Tess Townsend / Recode]

Facebook is going to start rewarding video makers who create longer clips, part of a broader effort to increase users’ “watch time.” The longer a video can hold an audience, the more likely Facebook is to promote it. — [Peter Kafka / Recode]

Chinas biggest online-payments company, Ant Financial, owned by Alibaba founder Jack Ma, has agreed to buy money-transfer provider MoneyGram for $880 million, giving it a foothold in the U.S. if the deal is approved by Trump administration regulators. — [Telis Demos and Rick Carew / Wall Street Journal]

On the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask, Recode transportation writer Johana Bhuiyan says the earliest opportunity for most people to ride in self-driving cars may come from Uber and Lyft. — [Eric Johnson / Recode]

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