Community Manager Sapience says that Turbine is "very aware of the controversy" and wanted to address specific points of concern. According to the post, Turbine said it never intended to promise that it would abstain from selling statted gear to give low-level players a boost, but the studio promised that this would not happen with endgame armor. The company admits to being "too generous" with the stats in question, and may adjust the item's power levels or possibly remove them from the store after further observation.
The studio took the opportunity to clarify its "convenience not advantage" stance. "Anything that's compulsory to be competitive in ranked play or achieves something by degrading another player's experience. We have not and will not make that part of our F2P offering," Sapience writes.
He concludes by promising more transparency going forward: "We'll take this as a sign that we need to do a better job in clear and open communication. In the future we will take more time to explain why -- not just what we're doing."
Massively previously reached out to Turbine for an interview on the subject but the studio declined to participate.
[Thanks to Whitewolf for the tip!]