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France Could Put the Brakes on Uber's Mobile-App Car Service

Traffic on the Champs Elysees on a rainy night in Paris
Traffic on the Champs Elysees on a rainy night in ParisPhotograph by Manuel Orero Galan

Anyone who has waited—and waited—at a Paris taxi stand on a Saturday night or a rainy weekday will understand why Parisians are big fans of Uber, the smartphone app that lets you order a car at the touch of a button.

San Francisco-based Uber Technologies, which launched the app in France 18 months ago, says Paris has become its biggest market outside the U.S. The Paris service, pronounced by the locals as “OO-behr,” books tens of thousands of rides per month and continues to grow, says Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, who heads Uber’s French operation. “There’s a big benefit to consumers,” he says.