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Priceline Boss Buying Stock

In a move designed to inspire confidence in the future of e-travel, Priceline.com Chairman Richard S. Braddock said today he will cancel previously announced plans to sell shares in the company and instead will buy more stock.

Braddock said that he is abandoning plans to sell off Priceline shares for estate planning purposes and instead he will acquire 750,000 additional shares via the exercise of stock options.

"I am confident that priceline.com is ready and able to weather the current slowdown in travel, and will emerge a winner in the e-commerce space over the long run," said Braddock.

Priceline, which had been making a brilliant comeback after being on the ropes last fall, has taken another battering following last week's tragedy. It was trading at more than $5 prior to the attack on the United States; today it was trading down 15 cents at $2.14 in the early going.

The name-your-own-price e-commerce company also got a boost Thursday when two of its major investors, Cheung Kong Ltd. and Hutchison Whampoa, withdrew their request for the filing of a shelf registration that would have given them the ability to sell shares in the company.

Instead, the two firms got approval from Priceline's board to raise their ownership stake from their current combined level of approximately 27 percent to 37.5 percent.