Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon has filed suit against Sprint PCS and Nextel Communications, charging the wireless carriers with listing charges on subscribers bills in an allegedly misleading and deceptive manner.

Nixon filed suit in St. Louis City Circuit Court on Dec. 5. The companies then filed to have the suit moved to federal court. The federal judge overseeing the case agreed to rule expeditiously on whether the case will go forward in federal court or be return to state court for trial.

Consumers are being led to believe that these charges are part of a tax or other government fee, when they are actually part of the companies overhead cost of complying with governmental regulations, said Nixon when the suit was filed.

Nextel and Sprint are understating their monthly rates by deceptively listing this amount on the bills. Other cell phone companies are incorporating the rate increase as part of the basic charge, and these two companies need to do so as well.

Two class action lawsuits have also been filed in Kansas City federal court against Sprint PCS and Nextel, in wireless billing complaints nearly identical to the one lodged by the Missouri attorney general.