It is not permissible for intending buyers at auction or other competitive sales to make an agreement for a consideration, that only one of them shall bid in order that the property may be knocked down at a low valuation. It may probably be assumed that if the contract is against public policy, so far as the parties to it are concerned, it is also fraudulent as regards the seller, and the converse of this proposition is undoubtedly true. A somewhat nice distinction is taken in regard to such an agreement which was thus expressed in a Massachusetts case: 54 "An agreement between two or more persons that one shall bid for the benefit of all upon property about to be sold at public auction, which they desire to purchase together, either because they propose to hold it together or afterwards to divide it into such parts as they wish individually to hold, neither desiring the whole, or for any similar honest or reasonable purpose, is legal in its character and will be enforced;" 55 "but such agreement, if made for the purpose of preventing competition and reducing the price of the property to be sold below its fair value, is against public policy and in fraud of the just rights of the party offering it, and, therefore, illegal." 56

53 Trust Laws and Unfair Competition (U. S. Gov't Printing Office, 1916), p. L1II.

54 Gibbe v. Smith, 115 Mass. 502.

55 Kearney v. Taylor, 15 How. 494, 519, 14 L. Ed. 607; Jenkins v. Frink, 30 Cal. 586, 89 Am. Dec. 134; Swfo-ser v. Stales, 8 111. 529, 44 Am. Dec. 723; Hunt v. Elliott, 80 Ind. 245, 41 Am. Rep. 794; Smith v. Ullman, 58 Md. 183, 42 Am. Rep. 329; Phippen v. Stickney, 3 Met. 384; Stillwell v. Glasscock, 91 Mo. 658, 4 S. W. 438; Murphy v. De France, 105 Mo. 53, 15 S. W. 949, 16 S. W. 86; Whalen v. Brennan, 34 Neb. 129, 51 N. W. 759; Gulick v. Webb, 41 Neb. 706, 60 N. W. 13, 43 Am. St. Rep. 720; Olson v. Lamb, 56 Neb. 104, 76 N. W. 433, 71 Am. St. Rep. 670; Bellows v. Russell, 20 N. H. 427, 51 Am. Eec. 228; Huntington v. Bardwell, 46 N. H. 492; National Bank v. Sprague, 20 N. J. Eq. 159, 168; De Baun v. Brand, 61 N. J. L. 624, 41 Atl. 958; Marsh v. Russell, 66 N. Y. 288; Marie v. Garrison, 83 N. Y. 14; Smith v. Greenlee, 2 Dev. L. 126, 18 Am Dec. 564; Goode v. Hawkins, 2 Dev. Eq. 393; Breslin v. Brown, 24 Ohio St. 565, 15 Am. Rep. 627; Smull v. Jones, 6 W. & S. 122; Maffet v. Ijams, 103 Fa. St. 266; McMinn's Legatees v. Phipps, 3 Sneed, 196; James v. Fulcrod, 5 Tex. 512, 55 Am. Dec. 743; Flandere v. Wood, 83 Tex. 277, 18 S. W. 572; Dailey v. Hollis, 27 Tex. Civ. App. 570, 66 S. W. 586; Barnes v. Morrison, 97 Va. 372, 34 S. E. 93. Cf. Woodruff v. Berry, 40 Ark. 251; Marshalltown Stone Co. v. Des Moines Brick Co., 114 Iowa, 574, 87 N. W. 496.

Even an open statement, without misrepresentation, if calculated to chill bidding may render a sale voidable.57 The English authorities, however, seem opposed to the American decisions, and to enforce agreements to refrain from bidding.58 The American rule is not carried so far as to invalidate a contract to pay another money in consideration of his relinquishment of his right to purchase land at a price at which it had been offered to him.59

56 Hyer v. Richmond Traction Co., 80 Fed. 839, 42 U. S. App. 522, 26 C. C. A. 175, 168 U. 8. 471, 18 S. Ct. 114, 42 L. Ed. 547; McMullen v. Hoffman, 174 U. S. 639, 19 S. Ct. 839. 43 L. Ed. 1117; Atlas Nat. Bank v, Holm, 71 Fed. 489, 34 U. S. App. 472,

19 C. C. A. 94; Swan v. Chorpenning,

20 Cal. 182; Ray v. Mackin, 100 111. 246; Devine v. Harkness, 117 11I. 145, 7 N. E. 52; Conway v. Garden City Co., 190 111. 89, 60 N. E. 82; Hunter v. Pfeiffer, 108 Ind. 197, 9 N. E. 124; Shaw v. Elijah, 54 Ind. App. 234, 102 N. E. 885; Clark v. Stanhope, 109 Ky. 521, 59 S. W. 856; Gardiner v. Morse, 25 Me. 140; Weld v. Lancaster, 56 Me. 453; Hannah v. Fife, 27 Mich. 172; Boyle v. Adams, 50 Minn. 255, 52 N. W. 860, 17 L. R. A. 96; Wooton v. Hinkle, 20 Mo. 290; Miltenberger v. Morrison, 39 Mo. 71; Gobble v. O'Connor, 43 Neb. 49, 61 N. W. 131; McClelland v. Citizens' Bank, 60 Neb. 90, 82 N. W. 319; Gu-lick v. Ward, 5 Halst. 87, 18 Am. Dec. 389; Brooks v. Cooper, 50 N. J. Eq. 761, 26 Atl. 978, 21 L. R. A. 617, 35 Am. St. Rep. 793; Kenny v. Lem-beck, 53 N. J. Eq. 20, 30 Atl. 525; Jones v. Caswell, 3 Johns. Cas. 29, 2 Am. Dec. 134; Doolin v. Ward, 6 Johns. 194; Wilbur v. How, 8 Johns. 444; Thompson v. Davies, 13 Johns. 112; People v. Stephens, 71 N. Y. 527; Hopkins v. Ensign, 122 N. Y. 144, 25 N. E. 306, 9 L. R. A. 731; Baird v. Sheehan, 166 N. Y. 631, 60

N. E. 1107; Coverly v. Terminal Warehouse Co., 83 N. Y. S. 369, 85 App. Div. 488; Ingram v. Ingram, 4 Jones L. 188; King v. Winants, 71 N. C. 469, 17 Am. Rep. 11; Saxton v. Seiberling, 48 Ohio St. 554, 562, 29 N. E. 179; Kine v. Turner, 27 Or. 356,41 Pao. 664; Barton v. Benson, 126 Pa. St. 431, 17 Atl. 642, 12 Am. St. Rep. 883; In re Hay's Estate,. 159 Pa. St. 381, 28 AtL 158; Dudley v. Odom, 5 S. C. 131, 22 Am. Rep. 6; Wilson v. Wall, 99 Va. 353, 356, 38 S. E. 181; Ralphsnyder v. Shaw, 45 W. Va. 680, 31 S. E. 953. See also Fenner v. Thicker, 6 R. I. 551; Herndon v. Gibson, 38 S. C. 357, 17 S. E. 145, 37 Am. St. Rep. 765, 20 L. R. A. 545, and note. Compare Breslin v. Brown, 24 Ohio St. 565, 15 Am. Rep. 627.

57 Herndon v. Gibson, 38 S. C. 357, 17 S. E. 145, 20 L. R. A. 545, 37 Am. St. Rep. 765. In this case at a mortgagee's sale, the mortgagor announced that she was a widow dependent on the land for support and intended to bid. It was held that the sale should be set aside.

58 Galton v. Emuss, 1 Coll. Ch. 243; Re Carew's Estate, 26 Beav. 187; Heffer v. Martyn, 36 L. J. Ch. 372; Chattock v. Muller, 8 Ch. D. 177. Compare Levi v. Levi, 6 C. &. P. 239. See also 20 L. R. A. 543, note; Phippen v. Stickney, 3 Mete. 384, 387; 1 Story, Eq. Jur., Sec.293; Story, Sales, Sec.484.