It's pretty clear why KKR moved into GoDaddy and is stressing web development while it's a no brainer why a web development company, Web.com, bought both Network Solutions and Register.com.
Now, here comes Demand Media with Designs.com wrapping new TLDs in a beautiful site (another reason they bought Name.com who is now pushing site building too). Of course domain and websites are loss leaders, hosting is where the money is made.
And "free websites" being offered are only free when you buy or lease whatever makes them work. Wix claims 20 Million Wix Users Worldwide, with 1 million Facebook fans.
Competition is fierce for all the existing domain owners who don't have a site. And television is flooded with ads offering "build Your Website in Seconds For Free" from Web.com, Zoho.com, Wix.com and One&One.com (can you use & in a URL??? if not the visual on the call-to-action doesn't match the audio- it's actual 1and1.com and its powered by Web.com) See for yourselves (starting with the new Designs.com spot):