The baby that was removed from its parents' custody after being placed up for auction on eBay for €1 has been returned.

German police had launched a probe into possibly child trafficking, but investigators have concurred with the parents' assertion that this was simply a joke gone awry – according to the Press Association.

Returned

"The child has been returned to his parents," prosecutor Johannes Kreuzpointer said.

The couple, from the south western Allageu region of Germany were arrested over the incident with the police, perhaps justifiably, not seeing the joke.

The auction remained up for two and half hours before being removed from the site.