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Royal dotcom stock splurger Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal is at it again - this time he's doubling his stake in AOL to $2 billion.

The nephew of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd described the ISP - whose chairman recently gave $8 million to homophobes by mistake - as the "anchor of the industry".

"America Online is the number one Internet company in the world and has a solid foundation and is making profit. And when the dust settles on the dot-com industry, America Online will be around," the businessman told Reuters.

The Prince is a keen investor in cyberstocks - he has investments in six Internet companies. These include $100 million tied up in e-bidding company Priceline.com, which is due to release its Q3 results today and is expected to record a net loss of about a penny a share.

He said the AOL investment would be gradual and would depend on the price.

In April the Prince said he would be cautious about investing in Internet companies, and would not lose his head over the dotcom frenzy. Last year, Forbes magazine named him the richest businessman outside the US. ®

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