There's trouble brewing in Switzerland, where Apple and other MP3 player makers are challenging a new tax on sales of digital music players.

The tax is intended to take effect on March 1 and will be levied against flash and hard drive-based music players, and also audio/video recorders with a built-in hard drive.

The decision to introduce the tax was taken on January 17, in response to pressure from local artist royalty collection agencies - though tariffs were only revealed last week, reports Swiss Info.

In some cases the taxes could add an extra 20 per cent to the product price - the iPod nano would cost £10 more, a report claims.

Manufacturers aren't having it. In a rare moment of cooperation, they have teamed-up to write to the Swiss Federal Court asking for a postponement so they can contest the new tariffs for authors' rights, which they describe as "astronomically high".

They argue that consumers will effectively be hit three times for authors' rights if the latest tax comes into force: they already pay a tax on downloads, blank CDs and now also portable players.