That changed today, as general manager David Solari posted a letter on the LotRO EU forums clarifying the situation. It turns out that the hold-up was due to legal rather than technical obstacles: "As many of you correctly surmised, the issues have been contractual rather than technical. As they were contractual issues, we are bound by confidentiality and you will understand that I can't give you any further detail... Unfortunately a contract was required in order to go free-to-play and this has taken much longer to conclude than expected. The good news is that the contractual issues have been resolved and we are on the home stretch."
Solari promised more information later this week, claiming that the F2P launch is "imminent." Codemasters is in charge of operating Lord of the Rings Online in the region while Turbine handles the responsibility in North America. You can read the full letter over at the LotRO EU forums.