When AT&T had its monopoly, it could afford Bell Labs, a major research institution that bragged at having more Ph.D.s than any other university. Now very few companies have basic research labs.
The newspaper industry had a high cost of entry. It required a large number of resources from reporters to presses to create a paper that could challenge existing publications. Established newspapers had a high profit margin and could afford a separate mission, to have a news department with high journalistic standards acting independently from the business side of the paper. The Internet effectively eliminated that high cost of entry and great journalism gets harder to find.
Universities, mostly non-profits, have both an education and research mission. Universities get the bulk of their revenue from student tuition and donations from former students. Universities also have a high cost of entry and we have seen very few new major universities, particularly in the US, established since 1900. Universities, while they can't turn a profit, have the freedom to have strong researchers and research facilities.
The Internet, combined with AI and social networks for support and grading, will allow a course to reach a huge number of students. Witness the Stanford AI course with over 85K registered students and the press it has received. The technology isn't quite there yet, but in ten years or so it will be easy to scale up courses with little scaling in personnel. Why would anyone take courses from me when they could get a superior experience from Scott or Luca? How long before a virtual Internet university can provide a better education than any single physical school?
The top universities will likely survive but what will happen to the mid-level schools still stocked with excellent scientists? If fewer universities fund basic research then who will?