I think they were bought out years ago, but I have no clue if majority ownership has changed hands (again?) recently. It’s not something I ever bothered looking into.
Yeah, even their domain registration fees are insanely high. I just moved the last handful of my own over to Namecheap (only because I already have domains there) and saved a packet, although places like Porkbun are even cheaper – as in about half price. Seems to me they’re banking on pulling low-information WP users in with marketing and charging them an arm and a leg at every point.
Sadly I have no doubt at all that this will actually be incredibly successful, so there will be no consolation given to the oldskool clients who might hang on for dear life hoping the glory days will suddenly return.