Federal Regulators give early stamp of approval to Watsco-Carrier Corp. joint venture.

Watsco Inc.announced that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission has granted early termination of the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976, allowing its joint venture withCarrier Corp.to move forward.

Supply House Timesreported earlier last monthon the planned joint venture of the two companies.Carrier Enterprise LLC, as they have named it, will distribute Carrier, Bryant and Payne products throughout the U.S. Sunbelt, Latin America and the Caribbean. The venture will operate 110 locations in 20 states and Puerto Rico, the Caribbean and Latin America, and serve more than 19,000 air conditioning and heating contractors.

On a combined pro-forma basis, Watsco and the joint venture had $3 billion of revenues in 2008. The completion of the agreement is subject to customary closing and transition items and is expected to be completed in the next 30 days.

Source: Watsco Inc.