In a bold move to combat unfair business practices within the gym industry, Body Action Gym has taken up the fight by lodging an official complaint with the Competition Commission against dominant firms Discovery Vitality, Virgin Active, and Planet Fitness, on behalf of independent gym operators and smaller fitness facilities.
This action, initiated in September 2021, has progressed steadily towards its finalisation and is now currently before the Competition Tribunal for adjudication.
PICTURED: ANTONIO IOZZO | CEO
“Discovery Vitality subsidises up to 75% of their members’ gym membership fees when they sign up with Virgin Active or Planet Fitness, while denying any other competing gym facility the opportunity to participate in this lucrative arrangement", said CEO Antonio Iozzo.
“This anti-competitive and toxic closed member alliance has distorted competition, created substantial barriers to entry, and caused immense harm to the gym industry. Gym operators are simply unable to compete against the Discovery Vitality subsidy.”
Iozzo believes that over the past 20 years, the gym industry has been monopolised by the cartel-like behaviour of Discovery Health, the largest medical scheme in South Africa, through their Vitality rewards program.
“Body Action Gym's official complaint aims to address this unfair business practice which stifles competition and has resulted in gym closures, job losses and the further consolidation of power within the industry.” Throughout the process, Body Action Gym has diligently presented compelling arguments and evidence, shedding light on the anti-competitive nature of the alliance, which over and above the financial subsidy includes collaborative pricing and marketing which traffics consumers to Virgin Active and Planet Fitness.
“The positive resolution of this matter will have a profound impact on the future of the gym industry and the accessibility of fitness options for the public at large,” Iozzo said.
For media inquiries, please contact:
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Body Action Gym
Chavé VreyCell: +27 83 408 8171