If they do band together I know exactly what will happen .. somebody will step in with a free internet news service and make a fortune on advertsing for the millions of people they provide free news too. Killing off the other news services completely.
All airlines charge for flights and that's not a collusion ;).
News in itself is a dying business, at least with the free model. Those that are making any money are doing so by buying shopping sites etc and using Google PR to attract traffic. Free news is going the way of a "Free PC for accepting ads."
You may get "news" from blogs, but let's not kid ourselves, you need a reporter in Kathmandu, Belarus, Iran, South Africa, Small Town Ohio and thousands and thousands of other locations to get a good report on a local story. That isn't cheap.