Discovery, Virgin Active and Planet Fitness accused of unfair business practices

The Body Action Gym has approached the Competition Commission to investigate what it claims is the unfair commercial practice between Discovery Vitality, Virgin Active and Planet Fitness.

Discovery Group offices in Sandton. Image: Abigail Javier/EWN

CAPE TOWN – The Body Action Gym has approached the Competition Commission to investigate what it claims is the unfair business practice between Discovery Vitality, Virgin Active and Planet Fitness.

The Johannesburg gym said Discovery subsidizes up to 100% of its members’ gym fees when they sign up with Virgin Active or Planet Fitness and refuses to allow any competing gyms to participate in the arrangement.

Body Action Gym said the anti-competitive and toxic alliance of closed members had distorted competition, created barriers to entry and caused immense harm to the gym industry.

They said gym operators were simply unable to compete with the Discovery Grant, leading to gym closures, job losses and an even tighter cartel stranglehold on the gym industry.

CEO Antonio Lozzo said: “For the past 20 years the gym industry has been monopolized and operated like a cartel by the largest private medical aid being Discovery Health through their Vitality rewards program between Virgin Active and Planet Fitness.”

The gymnasium said it had taken up the fight on behalf of all independent operators against the goliaths of the industry.

He filed a formal complaint with the Competition Commission for what he called a grossly unfair trading practice.

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