Looks like the rumors were true. In a forum post on the official Battlefield 3 forums, someone claiming to be EA's Community Coordinator for the game confirmed that, for now, Battlefield 3 isn't coming to Steam. The post lays the blame squarely on Valve for the inconvenience, although it doesn't rule out a possible entente between the two companies. Check it out:
Gamers can pre-order Battlefield 3 at Origin.com as well as over 100 digital retailers worldwide. EA offers games to all major download services. Unfortunately, Steam has adopted a set of restrictive terms of service which limit how developers interact with customers to deliver patches and other downloadable content. No other download service has adopted these practices.
We are intent on providing Battlefield 3 players with the best possible experience no matter where they purchase or play their game, and are happy to partner with any download service that does not restrict our ability to connect directly with our consumers. We hope to work out an agreement where Steam can carry Battlefield 3; meanwhile, gamers can pick from the more than 100 digital retailers listed at http://www.battlefield.com/digitaldownload, or go to http://www.origin.com.
If you've been following the EA vs. Steam saga, the explanation above should come as no surprise. EA already pulled Crysis 2 and Dragon Age II from Steam because of the scuffle over the service's rules for downloadable content. Battlefield 3 only looks to be the next casualty—and it sounds like more EA games could be on the chopping block. (Thanks to Rock, Paper, Shotgun for the tip.)