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StockBeat - Traders Check out of Shopify as Citron Research Fires Sell Warning

Investing.com - Shopify slumped Thursday as the e-commerce platform found itself in the crosshairs of famed short-seller Citron Research.

Citron Research slapped a sell rating on the shares of Shopify (NYSE:SHOP)saying "drastic changes" -- not the good kind -- in the competitive and regulatory landscape will negatively impact the e-commerce platform's growth story.

Shares plunged 7%.

The downbeat note on Shopify comes as Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), Square (NYSE:SQ) and Facebook's (NASDAQ:FB) Instagram have made efforts to venture deeper into the e-commerce space.

Microsoft VP of Retail and Consumer Goods Shelley Bransten earlier this week said the company is considering launching a competing offering that would allow retailers manage e-commerce sales.

Instagram, meanwhile, made its e-commerce intention clear with the launch of Checkout last month, a move that creates a direct transactional relationship between retailers and users on the platform, removing the need for the Shopify platform.

Currently merchants can link their Instagram to their Shopify so that the purchase goes through Shopify's platform. Checkout will circumvent that process and cut out Shopify, RBC said in a note.

In a further sign that e-commerce platform wars are set to intensify, Square upgraded its Square Online Store and Square for Retail products to include full integration with Weebly, the website and online store builder the company acquired last year.

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