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Recode Daily: Walmart hit a speed bump in its race to catch Amazon

Plus, the FCC is about to publish its order overturning net neutrality rules, what if the finance industry set the rules for gun sales, and everybody gets a unicorn!

Walmart CEO Doug McMillon
Walmart president and CEO Doug McMillon
Adam Jeffery / CNBC / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

Walmart had its biggest one-day drop in stock price in more than two years after reporting a sharp slowdown in e-commerce sales in its holiday quarter. Shares dropped more than 10 percent and chipped off more than $31 billion in market capitalization for Walmart, which has been rushing to build e-commerce sales to head off Amazon’s online dominance. The company said it would shift its online strategy to acquiring new customers for its main Walmart website while slowing marketing spend for Jet, which caters to higher-income urban shoppers. [Sarah Nassauer / The Wall Street Journal]

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission is expected to publish its order overturning the Obama-era net neutrality rules tomorrow. Formal publication in the Federal Register means state attorneys general and advocacy groups will be able to sue in a bid to block the order from taking effect; publication will trigger a 60-legislative-day deadline for Congress to vote on whether to overturn the decision. [David Shepardson / Reuters]

A modest proposal: What if the finance industry set new rules for the sale of guns in America? Collectively, credit card companies like Visa, Mastercard and American Express; credit card processors like First Data; and banks like JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo have more leverage over the gun industry than any lawmaker — PayPal, Square, Stripe and Apple Pay announced years ago that they would not allow their services to be used for the sale of firearms. [Andrew Ross Sorkin / The New York Times]

A federal judge denied AT&T’s request to see White House communications about its proposed $85 billion bid to buy Time Warner, which was blocked in November by the antitrust division of the Justice Department. In his ruling, the judge said AT&T-Time Warner hadn’t met the legal threshold to show that they have been “especially singled out” because of President Donald Trump’s hatred of CNN, one of the Time Warner divisions. The antitrust trial, one of the biggest in a generation, is scheduled to begin on March 19. [Ted Johnson / Variety]

Russia’s election interference is Digital Marketing 101. Most of the media coverage of last week’s Justice Department indictments of 13 Russians has missed the root of the problem: The unchecked market power of social media companies. A recent study on the digital-advertising industry analyzes how the basic tools of digital marketing can be readily repurposed by agents of disinformation. Meanwhile, a New York Times investigation found that Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies often fail to enforce their own policies against identity theft and impersonation, enabling the spread of fake news and propaganda — and allowing a global black market in social identities to thrive on their platforms. [Dipayan Ghosh and Ben Scott / The Atlantic]

The historic success of “Black Panther” could change Hollywood forever. With an estimated $370.8 million worldwide debut — the biggest domestic opening weekend ever for a film released in February (or March, or April) — Marvel Studios’ first black superhero movie has demolished box office records and hopefully demonstrated once and for all that black stories can become global blockbusters. [Adam B. Vary / BuzzFeed News]

Top stories from Recode

Bitcoin prices are back up 30 percent over last week.

South Korea’s finance regulator said the country would support “normal” cryptocurrency trading.

Venture capitalists are investing an “unprecedented” amount of money in tech — but there’s a catch.

On the latest episode of Recode Decode, Aspect Ventures co-founder Jennifer Fonstad says the money is frequently not going to the entrepreneurs who need it most.

The aftermath of the Parkland mass shooting exemplifies the ugly side of social media.

Bots. Conspiracy theories. Bullying. We’re seeing it all.

This is cool

Everybody gets a unicorn!

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