For a country that says they believe in the free market as if it were a religion; every time I hear about the mobile phone companies they're restricting consumer options.
Were you even reading the same story? The decision may have been influenced by lobbying on the part of the phone companies, but the decision was made by the government.
You also may want to review the definition of free market:
An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.
Keyword there being unrestricted. Government regulation and intervention is restriction.
As to the story, it's ironic that the same government body determined that Jailbreaking was legal now says unlocking is not. So we can break the manufacturer's lock on the software, but not the service provider's lock on the baseband?