Google said on Friday it will disable its search function in Australia if the country’s government proceeds with a media code that would force it and Facebook to pay local media companies for sharing their content. Australia is on course to pass laws that would make the tech companies negotiate payments with local publishers and broadcasters for content. If they can’t strike a deal, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide the price. “The code’s arbitration model with bias criteria presents unmanageable financial and operational risk for Google,” Mel Silva, managing director for Australia and New Zealand, told a senate committee. “If this version of the code were to become law, it would give us no real choice but to stop making Google Search available in Australia.” Google’s comments drew a sharp rebuke from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison who said the country makes its rules for “things you can do in Australia.” “People who want to work with that in Australia, you’re very welcome. But we don’t respond to threats,” Morrison told reporters. Australia announced the legislation last month after an investigation found Google and Facebook held too much market power in the media industry, a situation it said posed a potential threat to a well-functioning democracy. The US government this week asked Australia to scrap the proposed laws, which have broad political support, and suggested Australia should pursue a voluntary code instead. Google’s threat to limit its services in Australia came just hours after the internet giant reached a content-payment deal with some French news publishers.