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Squawk Box, February 20th

We start with a follow-on story from yesterday.  Verizon announced their flat rate voice pricing yesterday — $99 per month for unlimited calling in the US.  Not to be outdone, AT&T and T-mobile immediately announced similar plans.  And Helio, of course, has an unlimited voice and data plan in the markets where they operate.  All three took great pains to emphasize that this was for power users only.  Yet, all three also took stock price hits as investors took this as the first sign of what we in the VoIP industry have affectionately dubbed "the race to zero". We discuss the race to zero!

On a little more serious note, Microsoft is apparently gearing up for a proxy fight with Yahoo!’.  Yahoo is vulnerable because they’re electing an entire slate of directors at their upcoming meeting.  If Microsoft can persuade the majority of shareholders to turf Yahoo’s board, then they can win this war for Yahoo without having to get into an expensive bidding war. Yahoo, in turn, has offered employees golden parachutes with up to two years severance pay in the event of a takeover and dismissal.  And so far, nobody has emerged to bid against Microsoft.  It’s been a couple of weeks since the bid was announced. we discuss the developments

The BBC is running a story this morning about so-called techno-addicts. These are folks who can’t bear to be separated from their technology devices. They might keep a BlackBerry by the bed, or get up two or three times in the middle of the night to check email.  Symptoms of technology addiction include relationship problems, stress and so on.  We discuss how real the problem really is, and coping strategies that people have developed.

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