Canada's three leading wireless carriers are being sued by the Competition Bureau for misleading consumers.

Bell Canada, Telus, Rogers, as well as the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), will face legal action over "misleading" advertising of texting services.

The Competition Bureau concluded, after a five month investigation, that the three telecom incumbents, along with the CWTA, sold premium-rate digital content for fees that had not been adequately disclosed.

Wireless customers, the bureau argues, were duped into thinking content such as trivia questions or ringtones were free when in fact it cost up to $10 per transaction, and up to $40 for a monthly subscription, over and above the customer's existing text-messaging plans.

"The digital content at issue was offered through advertisements in popular free apps on wireless devices, as well as online, and consumers were led to believe that these products were free," claims the Bureau.

The federal agency, which wants customers to be fully refunded, is seeking $10 million each from Bell, Rogers and Telus, and $1 million from the CWTA.

The three wireless carriers have yet to formally address the legal matter, which is now before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice.

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