This behaviour is the same on apple.de or apple.jp, so it's not just the UK site. Moreover, it was added only 2 days after the judgement was upheld:
HEAD /v/home/n/scripts/hero_resize.js HTTP/1.1
HTTP/1.1 200 OK
**Last-Modified: Sun, 21 Oct 2012 19:31:51 GMT**
Expires: Sat, 03 Nov 2012 17:04:23 GMT
Date: Sat, 03 Nov 2012 16:54:23 GMT
I believe this was before the homepage was altered to display the ruling. Moreover, this was also just 2 days before the iPad mini was announced. Far more likely this is just related to new product announcements than any nefarious scheme.
The US site alternates between two different promotions, the iPad Mini and the iPad with Retina Display. Every other language's site (I've tried quite a few) which promotes the iPad Mini is showing just a single promotion and exhibits the resize behaviour.
Yep. Here's an example from the Japan site, where you can see the repositioning of the iPad Mini graphic when the browser window is made larger. The UK site has the same behaviour. I don't think there's anything dodgy going on.
So anything, any time, that alters the vertical spacing of the Apple homepage around the world, even if it's only 2 days before a major product roll-out is related to an 15pt font paragraph at the bottom of their UK homepage that no-one except the lawyers will even click on? Moreover, given that they've pissed off the judge once, their own lawyers won't have signed off on 5 times over?
I find that rather implausible, though I guess it's not impossible.
You won't find the same behavior on the identical "hero" and product elements of apple.com; far more likely that they want nothing leaking below the fold, on the non-US sites, and inviting users to scroll.