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Sanctions for anti-competitive practices must be aimed at the efficient enforcement of antitrust law. Both over- and under-deterrence must be combated. Enforcement costs must remain limited. An optimal sanctioning regime requires efficient identification of infringements. The European system results in very high regulatory and non-regulatory costs. The merit of the US system is that it offers a model of criminal negotiation for cartels that allows for efficient enforcement of competition rules. In order to guarantee the self-regulatory function of markets, public authorities must restrict barriers to market access and put an end to economic dirigisme. To limit the adverse effects of fines on companies, prison sentences are needed for the most serious offences. Such a policy contributes to raising awareness of competition law.