Someone is trying to make Warren Buffett look good. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I would have said that Buffett himself bid in the auction. An anonymous bidder won the auction by bidding $2.35 Million, less than last year's $2.63 Million. After noticing that the price is less than last year's winning bid, the anonymous bidder artificially added to his bid to make it $111 more than last year's price.
This is kind of strange. The winner wants to stay anonymous, yet wants to grab the headlines by bidding the highest price ever. If he was really motivated by increasing his donation to the charity, he could have easily increased the price to $3 Million, not $111 more than what the other guy paid.
There were only 7 bids in this auction, compared with 97 bids in last year's auction. This may be an indication that finally bidders realized that Buffett isn't the old Buffett who could generate double digit alpha's and make his investors rich. Warren Buffett's alpha for the past 5-10 years is statistically not different from zero.