General Motors won permission late Sunday night to sell its assets to a new government-backed company, setting the stage for a historic restructuring plan that is at the heart of the Obama administration's overhaul of the ailing auto industry.

U.S. District Bankruptcy Judge Robert Gerber issued his decision over the objections of more than 850 parties and after three days of hearings that ended just before the long holiday weekend. In a 95-page opinion, Gerber sided with lawyers for the Treasury department and GM, who argued that the government-orchestrated restructuring plan was the only option available to save the largest U.S. automaker, once the crown jewel of American manufacturing.

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