I'm missing the reason for the outrage here.
Are you saying domain name registries or domain name registrars can't register domain names for their own use?
Under what scenarios can registries and registrars register domain names for themselves?
What if a registrar is formed to serve one customer or a small group of customers? No laws require them to have "walk-in" customers. Since this model is allowed, it means registrars can exist to serve one or many customers and register anything they want.
How is this different from AT&T snapping up 1-800-call-att?
In the examples you cite, since registrars all competed with each other, each one decided how to prioritize their queue submissions.
If one registrar decided to place their own domains at the top of their own queue, the only consumers in a position to complain are customers of that registrar who were seeking the same domain name. Especially if they placed an order in the registrar queue before the registrar decided to take the name themself.
But if the registrar can state that when they created their queue, they first reserved domains for themselves, who can complain? It is a business decision by that Registrar not to serve any customers for those domains. Registrants are free to seek out a registrar that still had that domain available.