Ride-hailing giant Uber has filed confidential preliminary paperwork for selling stock to the public.

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That's according to a report late Friday in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people familiar with the matter whom it did not identify, the Journal says San Francisco-based Uber Technologies Inc. filed the paperwork earlier this week. That would indicate it could go public within the first three months of next year.

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Uber declined to comment on the Journal report.

The filing would come on the heels of a similar move by Uber's smaller rival Lyft. The two initial public offerings could raise billions for the two companies to fuel their expansions, while giving investors their first chance to buy stakes in the ride-hailing phenomenon.

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- AP