German Federal Court BGH VIII ZR 42 / 14
The Federal German Court had to decide whether a price achieved in an Ebay auction was unethical because it differed disproportional from the market value of the auctioned product. The highest bid in the binding auction for the item in question, a car with a starting price of 1 Euro, was 555,55 Euro. The seller therefore decided to end the auction and sell the car instead outside the auction for 4200 Euro to a third person. The buyer in the auction filed with the courts his damage claim for breach of sales contract in the amount of 5249 Euro, equal to the market value of the car.
The Federal Court held that a binding and enforceable sales contract had been undertaken between auction seller and buyer. Particularly it did not find the agreement unethical because of a disproportional auction price. It argued that it is rather the motivation of both participants to an internet auction to achieve a price disproportional to the market value, whether above or below it.